tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 16, 2009 1:00pm-4:59pm EDT
this vote, the yeas are 216, the nays are 213. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the resolution is adopted. >> madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the house will not proceed until the well is cleared. members should take their conversations off the floor. does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> yes, ma'am, i have a parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may state it. mr. westmoreland: was the last vote held open to change the
the speaker pro tempore: the vote satisfied the minimum duration under the rules. mr. westmoreland: i'm sorry, the house was not in order, i did not hear your answer. the speaker pro tempore: the vote lasted for the minimum period required. mr. westmoreland: further parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may state it. mr. westmoreland: i know at times we hold the vote open to make sure that everyone has a chance to vote. in the last vote, approximately 24 more people voted than had voted in the previous vote five
minutes elier, so what was the reason for leaving the vote open when clearly the outcome was changed by the vote being hold open and people changing their vote? the speaker pro tempore: the vote lasted for the required minimum period. mr. westmoreland: parliamentary inquiry. what is that minimum time? the speaker pro tempore: that vote was a minimum five-minute vote. mr. westmoreland: that was a five-minute vote. further parliamentary inquiry, what is the maximum time? the speaker pro tempore: there is no maximum time. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is a vote on the motion of the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. halvorson, to suspend the rules
and agree to house resolution 543 on which the yeas and nays withed or ed. the clerk will repot the title of the resolution. the clerk: resolution expressing support for designation of june as home safety month. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution? members will record theivotes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
he speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 416, the nays are nine. present, three db three recorded as present, 2/3 being in the affirmative they can rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. gohmert: parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may state his inquiry. mr. gohmert: we just voted on houseres. 543, i voted present because i was confused. this indicates we are
designating june as home safety month. by designating the month that just passed as home safety month, would this be an ex post facto law prohibited by the constitution? the speaker pro tempore: the chair cannot construe the measure. mr. gome et: i understand it's confusing to you as well. but were we designating the month just passed as home safety month? the speaker pro tempore: that is not a parliamentary inquiry. mr. gohmert: i thought the question mark on the end might have helped it become one. i understand it's confusing to the chair, so i guess no answer is an answer. the speaker pro tempore: the chair thanks the gentleman. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include tabular and extraneous material on h.r. 3170.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 644 and rule 18, the chair declares in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3170. the chair appoints the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 3170 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for financial services and general government for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from new york, mr. serrano, and the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. emerson, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i am pleased to rise in support of the financial services and general government 2010 appropriations bill, which includes total funding of $24.150 billion. this is a bill that we worked on cooperatively with our ranking member, jo ann emerson, and i want to thank her for her work that she has put into this bill, for her friendship and for her all around good will. we had a productive full committee markup where all members had an opportunity to offer amendments and to have them debated and considered. this is a bill that we as a
congress can be proud of. the agencies that this bill funds -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. on the majority side, would you please take your conversations off the floor? the gentleman may proceed. mr. serrano: this bill touched the lives of all of us and the funding is directed to all those programs where we believe the american people will derive the most benefit. you have had a chance to look at the bill and the report and to see the specifics of how the money for 2010 fiscal year have been allocated. so in the interest of time, i'm not going to present a lot of detail regarding each program and agency. instead, i would like to briefly highlight the five important themes that were addressed throughout this bill. the first of these is rebuilding the regulatory agencies designed to protect
investors, consumers and taxpayers. a significant increase of $77 million above 2009 is provided for the securities and exchange commission. this is the agency that combats financial manipulation, fraud and deceptive practices. it has not been vigilant enough in executing these duties in the past few years. the increase provided will allow the s.e.c. to hire approximately 140 new employees to strengthen their oversight capacity. in addition the federal trade commission, which provides financial matters, will receive $33 million more than in 2009. the consumer product safety commission, which plays an important safety role in our product decisions, will also receive increased funding. funding is strengthened for several of the inspector general offices included in our bill that are charged with making sure their regulatory and financial agencies are doing whatter in supposed to
do. with regard to the troubled assets relief program, tarp, the bill requires the treasury of the department to provide reports so that we know how treasury is addressing those parts of the financial crises over which it has been given oversight responsibilities. a second major theme of the bill is to make sure that capital and other assistance gets to small businesses and lower income communities, not just to large businesses and the wealthy. funding increases are directed to the two key agencies which playmportant roles in this area. the small business administration receives $236 million more than last year, and the community development financial institutions fund receives $137 million more than in 2009. our third priority of supporting equitable administration of justice in the federal courts is met by well-directed funding increases
that allows our courts to keep up with the cost and growing workloads. the fourth theme is to provide for fair and effective collection of taxes. full funding is provided for the president's request for the i.r.s., which includes a substantial increase for tax enforcement to close the gap between taxes owed and taxes paid. we also help our taxpayers meet their responsibility by including resources for the i.r.s. to provide assistance in person, over the phone and on the i.r.s. website. our final priority is to meet our obligations to the nation's capital city, washington, d.c., by including payments to address high-priority needs. we reduce undue interference and local affairs by dropping numerous restrictions on the district that do not apply to other parts of the nation. for example, we drop the prohibition on use of local
d.c. tax funds for abortion, thereby putting the district in the same position as the 50 states by leaving that decision up to the elected government of the district of columbia. beyond these five priority areas, our bill touches the lives of americans in other ways as well. for example, we assist american farmers by clarifying language from last year's bill regarding trade with cuba and the requirement for payment of cash in advance. we also provide increased funding for drug-free communities coalitions who work to reduce problems of youth drug abuse in their neighborhos and communities. before i conclude, i would like to thank staff on both sides of the aisle who have made tremendous contributions to this process. all the staff, both majority and minority, have worked long hours with dedication, and i would like to extend my personal thanks. so let me end by saying that i
believe this is a good bill that merits your support. it directs funding to improve the services that our government agencies provide to our constituents as they invest their savings, purchase products, start small businesses and pay taxes. it addresses the needs of our courts and our nation's capital city. i would ask for your vote in favor of its passage, and now i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from missouri is recognized. mrs. emerson: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, since this is the first bill i'm managing on the floor as ranking member of the financial services subcommittee, i'd like to say for the record how honored i am to have this position. the economic challenges facing our nation demand that the contents of the financial services appropriations bill be deliberately laid out and carefully structured. the subcommittee has jurisdiction over a diverse group of agencies which regulate the financial and
telecommunications industries, collect taxes and provide taxpayer assistance, support the operations of the white house, the federal judiciary and the district of columbia, manage federal buildings and provide oversight of the federal work force. i want to commend chairman serrano for his efforts in crafting the bill. it has been a real privilege and pleasure to work with him, and while we don't always agree, he has been very open to concerns and issues raised by members on our side of the aisle. i thank the chairman for his commitment to bipartisanship and for listening to the minority views. i also want to thank the majority staff who worked on this bill, including the clerk, david reisch, bob bonner, karen kendall, edo cane, nadine berg. i have to commend the staff of the minority. justin rone and jeffrey conner, who have all been extremely
dedicated for putting the best possible product forward. on both sides these staff members work very hard for the committee and the american people, and i appreciate their efforts. while i've been pleased to have a wonderful working relationship this year with chairman serrano, i am disappointed by the fact that we're not doing what our constituents have asked us to do and that is to work together in a totally bipartisan way at full committee level to make the lives of our constituents better. for example, the rule for consideration of the bill limits debate to 17 amendments, and i believe that 97 were submitted to the rules committee. this rule then doesn't -- the rule governing the debate here is it not display bipartisanship or regular order . we had colleagues who wanted to offer amendments about which they felt very strongly. saving taxpayer money by taking
extra return tarp money and putting it toward the deficit. people who feel very strongly about the d.c. public school systems. and the like. but it's troubling that they weren't able to offer their very substantive amendments, amendments which our constituents feel very strongly about. i do urge my colleagues to support a process where every member has the opportunity to have his or her voice heard on the floor of the house. now, let me turn to the bill before us today. the $24.145 billion allocation provided to the subcommittee is too large. it's a 7% or $1.6 billion increase above the current year , excluding stimulus funding. this allocation allows most agencies in the bill to be funded at or above the rate of inflation. i believe the resource requirements of the agencies funded in the bill can be met with a smaller allocation,
especially at a time when every household in america faces difficult budgetary choices. congress must be diligent when spending the taxpayers' money. the federal government in this bill is growing at an incredible rate at a time when employers who i represent in the district have cut jobs, and when people are really hurting. they're making the tough choices, and we really should, too, as an example to them. the congressional budget office concedes that, quote, under current law the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, meaning that the federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run, end quote. this bill primarily funds government agency operating accounts. it doesn't support programs or grants and doesn't represent a commitment to fiscal sustainability. in short, this bill provides a 7% increase which goes straight to the bureaucracies, bottom line. we're not making the tough
decisions the american people feel we should consider at a crucial time during our nation's economy. the administration's own budget documents state that the federal debt held by the public will be $6.5% of gross domestic product by 20 -- 6.5% of gross domestic product by 2014. that said, using the allocation provided to him, chairman serrano has done an outstanding job of crafting this bill. i'm grateful that the bill provides increases to critical programs, such as the financial crimes enforcement network, the treasury terrorism and intelligence programs, and tax preparation assistance grants. i also support the proposed reduction in the omdcp's media campaign and ordered to provide additional resources for the drug-free intensity program. i'm pleased the bill provides $74 million for d.c. education
programs, including $42 million to d.c. public schools. my stepdaughter currently teaches in a district public school, and her reports, along with the adequate yearly progress measurements, indicate dramatic improvements need to be made before every d.c. school is offering the opportunity that children in d.c. deserve. in the meantime, this bill does not eliminate the opportunities scholarship program but it restricks them to students already in the program. how can we limit educational opportunities for low-income students when we know the public school system is underperforming? regarding the general services administration, i am grateful that the chairman has included language directing a review of the g.s.a. supply schedule. and just one example of the need for this review, the department of homeland security has identified $42 million of savings over five years by no longer using the g.s.a. to
purchase office supplies. we want to try to improve the g.s.a. supply procurement process so that this savings can be replicated throughout all government departments and agencies. i also support the g.s.a. construction and alteration pro >> funded in the bill. i don't usually have positive things to say about g.s.a. construction and alteration accounts, but i will say that the chairman has done an excellent job in crafting a bill that funds jfble projects. i also want -- justifiable projects. i also want to thank the chairman of language clarifying the intent regarding the cash in advance policy and the sale of agricultural and medical supplies to cuba. this clarification will help american producers expand their markets in a significant neighboring export market. one area of the bill i believe has received an excessive level of funding is payments under the help america vote act. there's no question we're
obligated to provide for free and fair elections, it's a hallmark of our democracy and we must work to safe forward the electoral process. however, the administration enoughably proposed to cut this particular program to $50 million because the states aren't spending the funds that have been provided in the past years. the account contains a surplus of $86 million today this bill needlessly adds $100 million to this underused account. the election assistance commission is waiting for the states to claim the 2008 and 2009 grant funds. of the $115 million provided in fiscal year 2008, only $25 million has been claimed by the states. of the fiscal year 2009 funds, $100 million, only $3 million has been paid to two states. another area of the bill that deeply concerns me is controversial changes to long-standing provisions regarding the district of
columbia. i strongly oppose these changes. i do not believe that increasing the availability of abortions or medical marijuana will improve the quality of life in the district of columbia. as you see, mr. chairman, this bill is very controversial. not only does the proposed bill spend more than $24 billion, but it proposes to change long standing policies on which members on both sides of the aisle have long agreed. this is why the bill should be considered in regular order. we recognize that operating under an open rule is grueling, long, hard work and we've done it that way for years and years, at least as long as as i've been on this committee. at the same time we believe the regular functioning of this body is important, especially on measures that demand the full attention of the congress because they have the full attention of the men people. in conclusion, mr. chairman, while i have reservations regarding the bill and i'm
disappointed it's not being debate sod all members could be heard, i thank chairman serrano for his openness and friendship and reserve my the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognize plsmedse raw know: i'd like to -- new york is recognized. mr. serrano: i'd like to recognize mr. obey for three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. obey: this bill is a key part of efforts to restore public confidence in america's financial institutions. for example, with the securities and exchange commission, the -- this bill strengthens its ability to enforce rule this is a govern investments in financial markets and detect and prosecute fraudulent schemes. under the federal trade commission allocation, it strengthens the f.t.c.'s capacity to protect consumers
and combat anti-competitive behavior and prosecute unfair and deceptive practices in areas such as foreclosure rescue and credit repair services. with respect to the treasury inspector general, it provides $30 million to help the inspector general perform mandated reviews in cases where bank failures or other problems cause losses for the deposit insurance fund. it also provides a substantial amount of funding, $387 million more than 2009, to target wealthy individuals and businesses who avoid u.s. taxes by parking money in overseas tax havens. i think those are four good reasons to vote for the bill. i also want to speak just for a moment to the latourette amendment that amendment simply is an effort to try to find a way to give auto dealers across the country an opportunity to have a decentre view process, a
decent appeals process, given the fact that g.m. and chrysler have set up their own arbitrary process to shut them down. i would point out a majority of members of this house are sponsors of similar legislation and i would suggest this. this congress provided $60 billion in funding to the auto industry. i think that to suggest that somehow they have been abused because the congress is trying to provide some efforts to help local auto dealers get a better understanding of what is happening to them is in my view off the point. in addition to the $60 billion, we provided those -- the $60 billion we provided those auto companies we provided increased federal purchase of automobiles to get rid of backlog, we prosthride cash for clunkers provision, which they wanted to see passed, and we provided $2 billion in research funding to
help the auto industry develop new tech nothing. -- technology. i hardly think they've been underprivileged in terms of their treatment by this congress. i would simply say before people get too exercised about the latourette amendment, i don't think anybody expects that language to survive intact. what we do want is to see that language used as an opportunity to get the auto dealers and auto companies to sit down and work out a better appeals process so that you don't have some significantly profitable auto dealers at the local level being unnecessarily put out of business. that means job losses in virtually every county in this district and i don't think we have an obligation to support that. the chair: the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: thank you. i yield three minutes to a fellow subcommittee member from texas, mr. culberson. for three minutes.
the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. culberson: i thank the gentlelady. the city council makes decision this is a can affect you for the next month, the next week, state legislatures make decision this is a affect you for the next year, but the american congress makes decisions that affect the next generation and for years to come. we all of us take seriously our ability to work together and find solutions to problem this is a face the nation, to protect what is great about america and this committee has done so. all of us on the committee, regardless of our core principles, the districts we work from, represent, trying to find areas we can work together. i want to thank chairman serrano, our full committee chairman mr. obey for, for example, finding areas, working together with our superb ranking member, mrs. emerson to find common ground on important areas. i want to thank the chairman
for the amendment that mr. latourette offered that we all support to protect car dealers from being arbitraryly shut down and enforcing state franchise laws. for accepting the amendment to get information from the white house on whether or not foreign combatants captured on battlefields are being read miranda rights. i want to thank the committee chairman for agreeing as we try to get the supreme court to open up oral arguments to disclosure on the internet. when it comes to the financial solvency and security of the nation, there are profound differences of opinion between those of us who are fiscally conservative and the fiscally liberal majority. we -- this week, we saw the deficit exceed $1 trillion for the first time on the same day the majority laid out a government takeover of the health care industry. what would be the large etc. -- largest tax increase in the history of america. the week after the lib rah --
liberal majority passed the largest tax increase on energy, the energy tax this majority passed will affect everyone in america and hammer the private sector unless you're amish. i think they're the only ones who come out ok under that energy tax. don't forget this liberal majority is going to allow the bush tax cuts to expire, 12 months from this coming january 1. when you combine those things together, the new york post points out that in new york city, the tax rate would be about 58%. there are profound differences in us as fiscal conservatives and the correction -- direction that the fiscally liberal majority is taking us. i offered an amendment in committee which the majority thenied that all money refunded by tarp recipients had to go to pay down the deficit that amendment was rejected. we keep searching, as fiscally conservative members in the minority, we keep searching for ways to save money. is there any cut that this liberal majority would accept?
we haven't seen it yet. we've offered every cut we can imagine from little ones to big ones. nothing is accepted this congress is spending more money and less time than the congress in history, it's irresponsible, dangerous, this endangers the national security of the country and we have to -- no more spending, no more debt, no new taxes. the chair: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognize. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes to the dean of the house, the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. dingell: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. dingell: i begin by thanking my good friend from new york and the distinguished member of the committee for making this time available. i have rarely voted against a rule and rarely voted against a previous question. i am very much troubled by what we see happening here today.
i recognize the good will of the gentleman from new york and the gentleman from wisconsin, but i would observe that we are playing with fire here. my friend from wisconsin mentioned billions of dollars we've made available to the auto industry. he's correct, we have. now the question is do we, by what we're doing here, with regard to the auto dealers, jeopardize those expenditures and jeopardize the well-being of our auto industry. that is what is at stake here. this is a serious matter. if the auto industry goes down because we have taken sides in a quarrel between the auto industry and the dealers, we will have destroyed not only the dealers that complained but all the other dealers and all the people who work for the auto industry and are associated with it. all the suppliers. frankly, we are playing with fire here. i recognize that there is the intention to use this as a
lever to help the dealers and i applaud that. but thing this is the wrong lever, the wrong time, and the wrong way to use this kind of lever. the result of this playing with fire can be a serious disaster which we visited upon ourselves, upon the auto industry, upon all of those who are dependent upon it. and i would urge my colleagues in dealing with this to be exquisitely careful with this kind of exercise because it imposes upon all of us and upon the nation an incredible level of danger which i hope will be avoided and we are now putting ourselveses in a position where all of the good that has been done to try to preserve this important -- the chair: the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. dingell: it's being put at risk. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from
missouri. mrs. emerson: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. latourette. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. latourette: i have nothing but the highest regard for the dean of the house, when i was elected in 1994, my mentor, ralph regula, said you need to grow up to be like mr. dingell. i thought i was going to disagree with him here, but i agree with him. everybody understands the gravity of the situation. without exerting this lever, we're going to have a crisis in this country and an economic recovery will not be possible if we continue to throw people out of work. the use of expedited bankruptcy proceedings by the automotive task force in conjunction with two car companies has had state
franchise laws that caused all the dealers listed on this chart, 789 for chrysler, 2,600 for general motors this stroke of the pen, say thegs way we're going to go to get general motors and chrysler out of trouble on top of the $60 billion mr. obey talked about, is going to throw over 200,000 people out of work. i'm grateful to the chairman of the full committee, mr. obey, and the chairman of the subcommittee, mr. serrano for accepting this. the proof is in the pudding on the car companies. they submitted reorganization plans on february 17 that didn't contemplate the closing of as many plants, the firing of as many people, or the closing of the dealerships. the auto task force, according to mr. blume, said they pushed back. they said you're not being aggressive enough, you're not
being aggressive enough because you haven't closed enough plants or fired enough people or closed enough dealerships. now we're left with what we're left with. as a result, the crocodile tears we hear from detroit are to be believed, if they thought this was the way to go to close down people making money for them and don't cost them any money they would have, on february 17, said this is our plan. they didn't do it until may and as a result, 200,000 people are going to lose their jobs. i thank you and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. sare baines, for purpose of a colloquy. -- sarbanes, for purpose of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. sarbanes: i want to thank the gentleman for giving me an opportunity to speak on my district. the district of columbia has a youth detention facility in my
district. since the opening of may, they had two instance of escapes by juveniles housed at the facility. six juveniles escaped without any notification to the county in which the facility is located. from all accounts theyess claped through easily breached doors and windows. both of these episodes raised questions of the level of oversight at the facility. applicable district of columbia law says maintaining an ability to locate and retreive youth who are under the care, custody or supervision of the department who have absconded, end quote. unfortunately these and other standards relating to the security at the facility have not received adequate attention from district of columbia authorities. i'd like to yield a portion of my time to the majority leader, who i know has a perspective on this. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding.
i'd like to echo my concerns from sarbanes. prior to opening new beginnings, they had oak hill at the same location. i represented that area of our state for some period of time. this facility was plagued with a history of escapes and oak hill officials would fail to notify area officials and local law enforcement when that occurred. in 2002 i facilitated an agreement signed by the d.c. human services department obligating them to locate local police and facilities about oak hill escapees. although that facility has been replaced, i'm dismayed that the district has failed to comply with that spirit of agreement and as mr. sarbanes pointed out, applicable d.c. law. i'm joined with my colleague in urging the subcommittee to continue to work with the district of columbia to ensure first that every effort to prevent future escapes is undertaken and, second, that the local community, including law enforcement, be notified should an escape occur. i thank the gentleman for yielding.
mr. sarbanes: thank you. chairman serrano, i want to thank you for the opportunity to speak on this issue. as we move forward with this legislation, i hope we can work with the district of columbia to make sure we can protect the surrounding community. i yield back to you. mr. serrano: i can certainly appreciate the gentleman from maryland's frustrations as he raises an important issue. i'd work with the gentleman to ensure that the district of columbia review security procedures at the new beginning youth facility and works cooperative plea with local leaders in the state of maryland. mr. sarbanes: thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: thank you. i now yield three minutes to a member of our subcommittee, mr. crenshaw from florida. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. crenshaw: thank you very much. let me just say as we stand here debating this bill there are a lot of people in this
country who are hurting because of some particular acts that have taken place. and one of the things this subcommittee is tasked with doing is to make sure the regulatory agencies that could prevent situations like this actually have the proper amount of funding and the oversight to protect the american lives in the future. and a lot of you all have heard me say from time that the number one responsibility of the federal government is to protect the american lives. and usually when i say that i'm talking about national security. i'm talking about funding for our men and women in uniform. but today i rise to talk about two agencies unr this bill which are aimed to protect the american lives by protecting their health and their financial security. the consumer product safety commission and the securities and exchange commission. during the housing boom in florida, a lot of american dry wall producers couldn't keep up with the pace and the demand for dry wall for the new home so they began to import drywall from overseas locations, including china. however, unbenons to the
contractors and to families buying their dream homes, this drywall was contaminated. some say the chinese used byproducts from coal plants. some say it was from overseas shippings. the end result has been catastrophic. families have had to flee their homes that smell like rotten eggs. and worse, these homes have put their families' health at risk. these contaminants have made nosebleeds, asthma and attacks. they realized that their american dream had turned into an american nightmare. so how could this have been prevented? well, our colleagues and i on the subcommittee have asked this since the u.s. products safety commission is charged with protecting us from products like this. this legislation is aimed at ending an episode like that, make sure it doesn't happen again. there's more money, more regulation, more oversight to end this. the other tragedy that's taken
place this year, it's devastated the financial security of a lot of our citizens. last year a guy like bernie madoff said he created a ponzi scheme from a legitimate business from hardworking americans. he would deposit the money into his own banking account. covered this up by masking foreign transfers and filing false s.e.c. reports. again, how did this happen? how did the s.e.c. not catch this tremendous and egregious highway robbery? well, the good news is this bill contains additional funds for the s.e.c. to try to help them do a better job of making sure this doesn't happen again. now, i would have written this bill differently had i been in charge. i think there are a lot of flaws in the bill. i think as members of the subcommittee we do have a responsibility to try to protect the health and the financial security of our american citizens. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield
two minutes now to a gentlewoman who notwithstanding some of the things you see happening on this house floor is really the only representative from washington, d.c., ms. norton. the chair: the gentlelady from washington, d.c., is recognized for two minutes. ms. norton: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank the gentleman and the ranking member and the committee for bringing this bill forward, especially chairman serrano for consistently showing respect for our citizenship as american citizens by not interfering with local governments. mr. chairman, it's very painful for a member to come to the floor to ask for you to vote for their local budget. it is painful that that member doesn't have a vote on her own local budget. yet, some members are quick to step up with amendments of their own on a budget they had nothing to do with raising, as if we were just another federal
appropriation. one member, i regret to say, came forward with some misinformation which the rules committee and i had to correct this morning that somehow we wanted federal funds to be used for abortion. nonsense. we have never asked for anything except equality with other jurisdictions and other american citizens. all the residents ask is that you respect the home rule act. congress had no intention that our local budget would be treated any differently. these are our funds, local funds, not federal funds. it is very difficult and congress does not in fact change the local budget because they don't know anything about it. the presence of our budget becomes a basis for small minority to use us for their own purposes to try to impose on us their own choices. you can't endorse local control as a founding principle for
everybody except the residents of your nation's capital. the founders never made exceptions. i ask you to vote for this appropriation and in doing so remember we demand not to be relegated to second-class citizenship because of our treatment in this process and on this floor. i thank you, mr. chairman, for all you've done for this appropriation. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: yes. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes -- the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. pitts: this bill will open up the spigot for abortions in the district. recently, there's been a lot of talk about abortion reduction, and the one thing that everything seems to agree on is that public funding for
abortion increasing -- increases the number of lives lost to abortion. even one institute said that significantly more women choose abortion when the government subsidizes it. unfortunately, the bill before us today will only serve to increase abortion. and the district of columbia has a sorted history way borgs funding. in 1994 when the funding ban was lifted, d.c. took $1 million away from the medical charities fund, which was created to help aide -- aid patients to help with abortions. when the funding ban was reinstated, the city disregarded the law and continued to fund abortion for two additional years. the bill will again open the door for d.c. to abuse taxpayer dollars to expand abortion. and it completely disregards the views of the majority of americans who do not support public funding for abortion. the bill thrust upon hardworking taxpayers the values of the washington elite.
nearly 180 members of this house, both republicans and democrats, made a simple and reasonable request. maintaining existing pro-life policies in bills. and if not, allow us an opportunity to vote up or down. yesterday the rules committee unilaterally denied members to vote on whether this bill should be used to expand public money for abortion. such actions are an offense to the democratic process, to the american taxpayers, and to the sanctity of human life. i urge my colleagues to oppose the bill, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. edwards, who by the way, was the strongest leading voice in having us put language in this bill that says that any tarp money has to be explained to the congress on its use and all kinds of reports coming back to congress.
mr. edwards for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. edwards: mr. chairman, i'd like to thank chairman serrano for his kind comments and his leadership, including two key provisions in this bill i strongly supported. first, this bill holds the u.s. treasury department accountable for how it invests taxpayer funds under the tarp program. language includein the bill at my request mirrors my bill, h.r. 2832, which directs the treasury secretary to report back to congress by december of this year on their plans to repay taxpayers the money they have invested in the tarp program. the language also requires the treasury to submit to congress the estimates the likely gains and losses from those investments. our efforts to sure up the financial system must be accompanied by greater accountability and strict oversight to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and effectively. the american taxpayers have a right to know how their tax dollars are being invested and when they will be repaid. second, the bill adds $93
million to the budget of the s.e.c. for the first time specifies $4.4 million of s.e.c. funding should be used by the office of inspector general, increasing their staff by 140 investigators, lawyers and analysts to investigate and prosecute corporate crime. americans wants greedy wall street criminals who helped cause this recession be investigated and punished for their crimes. by increasing enforcement at the s.e.c., we will send a strong message that if you rob innocent investors of their retirement and college savings, you will spend the rest of your life sharing a prison cell with criminals like bernie madoff. i thank chairman serrano for including these two important provisions in this legislation and urge the bill's passage. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: mr. chairman, i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time.
the gentleman from new york is recognized. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from california and also wish her on behalf of the house a happy birthday. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank the chairman for his well wishes. they come every six months now, i think, but thank you so much. let me rise in strong support of h.r. 3170 and just say to the chairman, this is my first year on this subcommittee, but it's an honor to serve with yourself and such great leaders. i want to thank you, chairman serrano, and our ranking member emerson, for their very hard work on this bill in a bipartisan fashion. you've worked together during very difficult times for our economy and, of course, for this appropriations. this bill begins the work of rebuilding the regulatory and oversight framework of the federal government, restoring
home rule to the district of columbia and safeguarding consumers by reinvigorating the consumer product safety commission. by investing in the securities and exchange commission, the federal trade commission, the consumer product safety commission, the i.r.s. and other vital agencies, we can bring back a fair and honest marketplace that is safe for consumers and investors alike. we need strong regulators to enforce our nation's financial regulations. this will ensure the stable operation of our capital markets, help stabilize the economy and bring an end to this unregulated financial environment during the bush administration which has created havoc in the lives of millions. the chairman has also taken great strides in restoring home rule to the residents of the district of columbia. as chairman serrano has said, we were elected to represent our home districts, not elected to represent the district of columbia, nor are we members of the d.c. city council.
the people of the district of columbia should have the ability to make the same decisions as other communities and cities that make these decisions for themselves. they should not be subject to the ideological whims of members who wish to advance personal agendas on the back of d.c. residents. these are americans. they deserve to be treated fairly just like we want our constituents to be treated. i also want to thank the chairman for clarifying the definition of cash in advance for agricultural and medical equipment payments to cuba or from cuba. u.s. companies should be able -- may i have an additional 30 seconds? 30 seconds. thank you. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: let me just say that united states companies should be able to benefit from profits and create jobs which is the bottom line during this recession as a result of these
business opportunities. so this provision is very important for our economic recovery. so i look forward to working with the chairman and the subcommittee to ensure that the treasury department prioritizes real terrorist threats to our national security and does not waste vital agency resources, our tax dollars, on americans who want to travel to the caribbean. thank you, mr. chairman, again. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: continue to reserve. the chair: the gentlelady continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. lynch: i'd like to yield one minute to my friend and leader, the majority leader, mr. hoyer. the chair: the majority leader is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding and i congratulate in my leadership of this committee and say how pleased i am that my good friend is the ranking republican on this committee. i know that, excuse me -- mr.
speaker, i was eating and i was told that i was to be on the floor and i swallowed relatively quickly. in any event, going back to my comments about jo ann emerson, to thank her for her leadership, one of the very constructive members of this body. this subcommittee is a special subcommittee to me because i had the great honor of serving on this subcommittee for 23 years. and chaired this subcommittee for two years. and then served as the ranking member when we had the hostile takeover of the institution by the other side and they became the chair and i became the ranking member. so i've served on this committee for some time. i rise today because i normally would have weighed in with the chairman and with the ranking member on the issue of pay for
civilian employees. and as a matter of fact i had the opportunity to discuss with the chairman the pro visions for pay in this bill. -- provisions for pay in this bill. the administration and i had a discussion some months ago with regard to their recommendation on civilian and military pay. and i indicated to them that we are in a very unique situation in america today. we've lost millions of jobs, millions of people are concerned about losing their jobs, and i therefore perceived it as a relatively unique situation. where first of all employees understood that there would be constraints that were not necessarily present in other years. federal employees are already constrained by the a.c. i, the economic cost index, wage index in the country, if people across the country don't get races,
they -- raises they don't get raises. however, for 28 years that i've served in this body there have only been five years where there has not been pay parity between the military pay -- cost of living adjustment, and the civilian cost of living adjustment. in 1984 the military received -- excuse me, only four. in 1985 the military received a half a point more than the civilians. in 1994 and 1995 the civilian it's receive -- civilians received, in 1994, 1.7% more than the military and in 1995, 4/10 of a point more than in the military. in 2002, the military received 2.2% more. both the military and the civilian employees obviously perform great services for our
country. and i think there was a sense by the military and civilians that parity between the two made sense. and in fact the congress, as you see, in 24 of those 28 years has followed that policy. the chairman in consultation with me, because i don't want the burden to be on him or the committee, and in discussion with those of white house represent large number of federal employees, concluded because of the uniqueness of our economic situation that agreeing to this lack of parity, not supporting it, but agreing to it, that maybe for some a distinction without a difference, but it is, i think, a distinction. however, because of my concern and my discussions with mr. orszag in february or march, i went back to mr. orszag and i want to read into and i'm going to submit for the record a letter dated july 9, 2009. it says, thank you for your june
24, 2009, letter regarding pay parity for civil employees and military personnel serving in noncombat zones. the reason he references noncombat zones, because i think there is an appropriateness in the hazardous duty pay, whether they be military or civilian. we put people in harm's way and we put them at risk and giving them greater compensation makes a lot of sense. i suggested this to the armed services committee. that's not what we did here. but i'll go on. given the exceptional circumstances surrounding the economic downturn, the administration did not include equal pay increases for civilian and military personnel in its fiscal year 2010 budget submissions. nonetheless, the administration shares your commitment, and really the commitment of all of us in this congress who 24 out of 28 years has fought for and affected pay parity as the policy of this congress. nonetheless, the administration
shares your commitment to a strong civil service that can attract the talent we need to deliver the high level of performance the american people deserve from their government. this is the important sentence, i've made it known to mr. serrano, did not go over this with mrs. emerson, but it says this, the administration is therefore commit in future years to the pay parity for federal civilian workforce and members of the armed services serving in nonhazardous locations. again, this is not about hazardous duty pay for people in harm's way. thank you for your efforts on behalf of federal employees, etc. i rise simply to note that on behalf of the federal employees i represent, the federal employee representatives with whom i've had extended discussions, the senate has taken action in their subcommittee, they did not affect pay parity either, although they affected a greater increase than is included in this bill. between now and the conference
committee, i intend to be working with mr. serrano and mrs. emerson on what policy we believe to be appropriate given the economic circumstances that confront all americans, federal employees have the benefit of having stable, secure jobs. they very much appreciate that. they understand that they don't want their fellow citizens to be in distress and without them being cognizant of that distress and appreciation for the economic situation it puts us in. so i thank the chair, i thank the ranking member for their concern and their focus and i look forward to working with them on this issue as they proceed through the process and we go to conference and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. the chair: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for two minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. and i come to the floor and i
rise in opposition to this bill and i do so for a number of reasons, but the reason i take this opportunity to express is that the long standing policy that blocked the compullings that was delivered to american taxpayers to fund abortions through the district of columbia has been dropped from this bill and it was refused to be allowed as an amendment here to the floor so the constituents of america will not know how their member would vote and where their member stands on compelling public funds to be used for abortions in the district of columbia. week of gone through this debate here before. this debate has gone on back and forth but it was established back in the early 1990's, the process of funding public abortions in d.c. were established in the early 1990's and that was rolled back and still the district of columbia violated federal law for two years and continued to fund abortions. now here's the image that i have in my mind, two of them. one of them is, to compel anyone who has a moral objection to funding abortions is wrong.
the second thing is, a memory of the vote on the mexico city policy when we lost that as a pro-life coalition here in congress. i saw people over on that side of the aisle jumping up and down, hugging, clapping and cheering and why? because we were going to compel taxpayers to fund abortions in foreign lands? how could anyone be that delighted about such a policy? but i think it was because those who were cheering and clapping and hugging believe they had landed a blow against the convictions of the people who i think they consider to be wearing a different jersey on the other side of the aisle. it is bigger than this. it's deeper than this. this is life. this is unborn innocent human life that doesn't have a voice here on this floor. if we could hear their scream for mercy, we would at least hear the tiahrt amendment and have a real debate here on the floor as we would have had in any he of the two previous centuries this united states congress has operated under open rules. i oppose the bill and i advocate
for open rules and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield a minute to my friend and colleague from new york, mr. israel. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. israel: i thank the chairman and my friend. mr. chairman, why tuesday? why do we have federal elections on tuesday? my guess is that most members of this house of representatives don't know the answer to that question. and the answer is, there is no good answer for our voting on tuesday. there is good reason to change voting from tuesday to weekends. one out of four people say they don't vote in federal elections because the week day is too busy for them. they're balancing their jobs and their schedules and their kids. i have introduced the weekend voting act which would move federal elections from tuesday to weekends and i want to thank the chairman of this subcommittee for including language that i had proposed in this bill, directing the g.a.o. to conduct a study on the cost benefit and analysis of weekend voting. that study is going to answer
the question, why tuesday? but more importantly, it's going to answer the question, why not weekends? and lead to the empowerment of the american people, we ought to make it easier for people to vote in federal elections, not harder. i thank the gentleman and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from missouri. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: excuse me, mr. chairman, i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: i thank my friend for yielding. mr. chairman, for almost two decades, congress has banned the use of taxpayer funds for abortion except in the exceedingly rare and tragic cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. president obama tells us he wants to reduce abortion. well, one of the most effective and proven means and ways to reduce abortion is not to fund it. the evidence is compelling and frankly it's logical. the research arm of planned
parenthood, an organization that itself every year performs over 305,000 abortions in its own clinics, a staggering loss of children's lives, their research arm, the good macker institute, has made it absolutely clear that when taxpayer funding isn't available, between 25% and 30% of medicaid abortions that would have been procured simply don't occur and these children go on to be born. today there are thousands of children in the district of columbia and millions throughout the country who live, attend schools, have boyfriends and girlfriends, dream and hope because taxpayer subsidies didn't affect wait their demise. pursuant to the constitution of the united states, congress has the authority and i i would submit the obligation and duty, especially under a human rights perspective, to set policy as it relates to how funds are used. we should not be subsidizing the
killing of unborn children. by definition, abortion is infant mortality. ultrasound technology, the rise of prenatal medicine, has shattered the myth that unborn children are somehow not human nor alive. dr. king, mr. chairman, niece of the late dr. martin luther king, had two abortions. she now leads an organization known as the silent no more campaign, made up of exclusively of women who have had abortions. she points out that in every abortion, one baby dies, can i have an additional -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mrs. emerson: an additional minute. mr. smith: she's made it very clear that after every abortion, one baby dies, two of its twins, and one woman is wounded. the long-term psychological damage, the physical damage, is underreported upon and underappreciated but as she and so many others have pointed out, it is there.
she has said, how account dream survive, talking about her late uncle, the late dr. martin luther king, how account dream survive? these are her words, if we murder the children? abortion methods, mr. chairman, are gruesome. the choice, the euphemisms that are employed to cloak it, can't mask a dismemberment abortion that hacks a child to death or poison shots that chemically burns and kills an unborn child. abortion is infant mortality. we should not be funding it. there will be children who will die if this legislation becomes law simply because the subsidies were there to effectuate their kill. i hope members will vote no on the bill. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: can i inquire how much time is available? the chair: the gentleman from new york has 8 1/2 minutes available. and the gentlelady from missouri has 5 1/2 minutes
available. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes for a colloquy to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. holt holt mr. chairman, i -- mr. holt: mr. chairman, i commend the chair of the subcommittee for producing a good bill. i seek to enter into a colloquy with him in conducting audits of electronic election results. voting is the foundation of our democracy. it's the right through which we preserve other rights. and anything of value should be auditable, especially our votes. that's why it's so important that states using paperless systems have all the funding they need to convert to paper ballot voting systems before the next general election and that all states have the funding they need to conduct audits of the electronic tallies. and i'd yield at this ment back to the chairman. mr. serrano: i agree with the gentleman about the importance of protecting the integrity of the vote count. i was pleased to incorporate
funding in the bill and language in the committee report stressing the importance of gathering information on voting system malfunctions making official paper ballots more accessible, and varyfying election results. i hope jurisdictions will use these funds to deploy -- to deploy the most accessible paper ballots to ensure the integrity of our democracy. mr. holt: i thank the gentleman very much. you know, we had a recent compelling example of how important this is. we have the resolution of the senate race in minnesota. if the only information available on an election night were an electronic tally, one candidate would have been presumed the winner. but after a bipartisan canvasing board was able to actually inspect and recouldn't voter marked ballots, the result they were able to determine that the other candidate actually won. software electronic counts alone cannot be relied upon to
make sure the intent of the voters will be honored. in 2010, seven entire states and counties and a dozen others will not be able to verify independently the electronic tallies in their election unless they use funds to deploy voting systems. we have not succeeded yet in establishing a national standard. however -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. serrano: i yield another 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman yields another 130ekds. mr. holt: however, every jurisdiction of the country that has changed their voting system in the last several years has moved to an accessible paper ballot system. i thank the gentleman very much for his support. mr. serrano: the gentleman is most welcome and i look forward to working with him to make sure all states have the funding they need to implement these critical election protection measures. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. and the gentlelady from missouri is recognized. mrs. emerson: at this time, mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. latourette.
the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: well, mr. speaker, i thank you and i thank the gentlelady for recognizing me again during the course of this debate. one of the sad consequences of bringing appropriations bills to the floor under a closed rule or a structured rule is that you leave some members on both sides of the aisle between the devil and the deep blue sea. and sadly we have that in this particular bill. mr. speaker, you would have seen during the rule vote that it was a close vote and, you know, thanks to some great work by orthopedic surgeons in the last 30 seconds, the provision was able to survive. but i would suggest that it is not a mystery to those of us in this house that the people that voted no on the rule, many of them, both republicans and democrats, and i think the last time i saw the scoreboard it was 33 democrats, weren't voting no against their leadership and the rule that they brought forward. they were voting no because the rule did not permit a
discussion on an amendment by mr. tiahrt or anybody else relative to the use of taxpayer funds for abortions in the district of columbia. and that's why they voted no. now, like-wise, we have discussed, mr. obey's discussed, mr. dingell's discussed, i discussed the fact that mr. serrano was gracious enough to accept an amendment that dealt with the 250,000 people about to lose their jobs at auto dealerships across the country. for 14 years i chafed at the fact that appropriators were legislating on authorization bills. i love it. i think it's a wonderful process. i hope it continues. having said that, the vote that members are going to take in a couple of hours, nobody is going to know where they stand on the car dealers and nobody is going to know where they stand on the issue of abortion. if you vote yes on the bill, you can call up and say, hey, i was with you, auto dealers, but the people that don't think the taxpayer funds should be used
for abortion are going to be concerned about that vote. if you don't vote no on the bill, you are not going to have difficulty with the fact that taxpayer funds should be used for abortions. but they have the right to be mad at you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. la latourette: i yield 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is yielded 30 seconds. mr. latourette: i know it may come as a disappointment to the speaker. the fact of the matter is we need to have some clarity. the people of washington deserves to know where we stand on these issues. for every yoor that these appropriations have come -- year that these appropriations have come to the floor, we didn't like some of these amendments. i sat in that chair for three years on an interior appropriations bill to let every democrat, every republican who wanted to come down, strike the last word. and at the end of the day the will of the house prevailed. the rule is not -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. latourette: the rule of the
house -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. a member of the committee subcommittee and one of our great leaders. the chair: the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: i thank the gentleman. this is a strong bill, a bill that aims to bring much-needed stability and confidence to our financial system and assistance to our small businesses. the bill provides critical funding to the securities and exchange commission to help it strengthen regulation of our financial markets. and to the federal trade commission to enhance its ability to protect consumers. it ensures further oversight of tarp. it requires treasury reports that will notify congress of steps taken to implement oversight recommendations,. to help small businesses weather the current economic storm, the bill supports $848 million for the s.b.a., including $25 million in new
microlending and $10 million in microloan technical assistance. in 2008 alone, s.b.a.'s intermediary microlenders made more than 5,000 loans totaling more than $60 million to entrepreneurs that were unable to secure the credit that they needed from a conventional lender. this bill also includes significant funding for i.r.s. tax enforcement. to support the administration's efforts to help with tax evasion. and it would prevent them to avoid them meeting their -- the bill eliminates the hamping of companies to export agriculture goods to china. in this economic climate, we should be opening, not irrationally closing markets
for american products. in recent years, many of our regulatory agencies neglected their responsibilities to protect consumers, taxpayers and investors. this bill takes strong steps to reverse that disregard while making critical investments in programs that help small businesses, the lifeblood of our economy succeed. i urge my colleagues to support passage of this important piece of legislation, and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from missouri. mrs. emerson: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from missouri, mr. skelton, for purposes of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. skelton: i intended to offer an amendment to provide funding for the harry s. truman scholarship foundation in the amount of $660,000. i decided not to offer that amendment today but wish to engage the chairman of the
subcommittee in a colloquy regarding the importance of this foundation. mr. chairman, i believe that it's in the best interest for our nation to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow have access to the best educational opportunities available. for that reason, i've long been associated with the harry s. truman scholarship foundation which awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. the truman scholarship foundation, established by congress in 1975, has the federal memorial to our 33rd president, harry s. truman. the foundation has been operating from the original appropriation in the interest of that amount since 1977. but as the cost of college has increased over the years, the foundation's assets have not grown, accordingly, to meet the needs of the students it serves. so, mr. chairman of the subcommittee, mr. serrano, i ask for your assurance that you
will seek funding for the harry s. truman scholarship with the other body. mr. serrano: will the gentleman yield? mr. skelton: i yield. mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman for bringing this to our attention. i will do my best to work with my senate colleagues in conference. mr. skelton: well, i certainly thank the gentleman, and i thank you for this opportunity to raise the issue on the floor. thank you. mr. serrano: thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: does the gentleman have any further speakers? mr. serrano: just myself. mrs. emerson: well, in that case, i'd like to thank the chairman again for his graciousness and his openness in working with me and the rest of the subcommittee on the minority side, and i look forward to continuing that relationship. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: how much time do i have left, mr. speaker? the chair: the gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. serrano: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman yields himself the balance of the time. the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i want to thank the gentlewoman and i want to thank all speakers who have participated today. but i think there is a clarification that needs to be made. many speakers have come to the house floor and spoke about the abortion issue and have said that the american taxpayer is being asked in this bill to foot the bill for abortions. that is not correct, and that has to be made clear. first of all, the issue to me is whether or not the district of columbia should be given the opportunity to govern its own affairs or whether congress will continue to impose on d.c. its will. and so for many years the folks in the district of columbia have had to accept congress' wishes for many test items and
issues throughout the country. and i believe that in some cases, with all due respect to my colleagues, they impose these provisions on the district of columbia in many areas of gay marriage, needle exchange programs, abortion, gun issues so they can go back home and say they did something on that issue. yes, they did. to the people of the district of columbia. not to their district, but to the people of the district of columbia. what this bill simply says is that local funds raised locally by the taxpayers of the district of columbia can be used to provide abortion services. the ban on the use of federal funds for abortion remains in place. let me repeat that. federal funds going to the district of columbia cannot be used to supply abortion services. what we've done is to say local funds that you raise on your
own from your own american citizen taxpayers can be used for those purposes. that should be clarified and people should know the truth. this bill is a good bill, and i would hope that at the end of the day people would vote for it and it covers many areas. i thank all my colleagues, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. mr. serrano: i move the committee rise. the chair: the question is on the motion of the committee to rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. accordingly, the committee rises.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union, having had under consideration h.r. 3170directs me to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union says they've had under consideration h.r. 3170 and has come to no resolution thereon. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut rise? ms. delauro: by direction of the democratic caucus, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 651, resolved -- ms. delauro: mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be considered as read and printed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
pursuant to house resolution 644 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 3170. will the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, kindly resume the chair. the chair: time for general debate -- the house is now in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of the bill, h.r. 3170, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for financial services and general government for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole house rose earlier today, all time for general debate had expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill
is considered read for amendment under the five-minute rule and the bill shall be considered read through page 145, line 11. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed in house report 111-208. each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and opponent and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. after consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations or their designees each may offer one pro forma amendment to the bill for the purpose of debate which shall be controlled by the
proponent. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: mr. chairman, i rise to offer amendment number 1 printed in the report of the committee on rules. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-208, offered by mr. serrano of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from new york, mr. serrano, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment does several things. first you it increases f.y. 2010 funding for the consumer product safety commission by $4.9 million to its authorized level of $118 million. i thank my colleagues, debby wasserman schultz and debby
delauro, to increase funding for the cpsc. recently enacted consumer protection legislation has increased the work load of the cpsc considerably. the consumer product safety improvement act will sign into -- was signed into law last august. this sets strict limits on the amount of lead and chemicals that can be used in making children's products. the cpsc has faced many challenges in implementing the new law and this additional funding will enable them to fully address work load needs. this amendment incorporates an amendment first offered by my colleague, mr. hastings, to provide an additional $250,000 for the national credit union administration's community development revolving loan fund. this is a worthy program that provides loans and grants to credit unions that serve low income communities with the goal of improving the quality of financial services provided to those communities. this amendment also incorporates
an amendment first offered by my colleague, mr. cuellar, to prohibit the use of funds for first class travel for employees of agencies funded by the bill. i think it makes sense to prohibit first class travel for federal employees. i close by saying that this is a good amendment and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from missouri rise? mrs. emerson: i claim time in opposition to the manager's amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. emerson: while don't oppose the content of this amendment, i do oppose the process in which it was offered. mr. chairman, this is a controversial bill to many americans. increased spending by $1.6 billion or 7% should be allowed to be debated under this bill. in addition, the changes in longstanding policy on abortion, on medical marijuana, should also have an opportunity to be
debated. i think that the responsible regular functioning of this institution is so important, especially on spending measures that demand the full attention of congress because they've got the full attention of the american people. as my colleagues know, a manager's amendment traditionly is meant to be noncontroversial. it's meant to be offered and supported by both sides of the aisle, to improve the bill on ways in which we can all agree. the manager's amendment is meant to have a quick debate, typically followed by debate on more difficult issues. taking three proposed amendments by our democratic colleagues and rolling them into a manager's amendment while prohibiting debate on the majority of amendments submitted by the republicans is not in the tradition of this house or the tradition of what a manager's amendment should be. so i urge a no vote and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: all time has expired. the question is on the amendment
offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. and the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. paulsen: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. paulsen of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. paulsen, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i rise today to offer an amendment that
would provide an additional $15 million for the financial crimes enforcement network which is also known as fincen. they established fincen in 1990 to provide a governmentwide multinational resource. the agency's functions have expanded over the years and now include some regulatory responsibilities as well as providing important information on new incidents and patterns of fraud to the s.e.c., the department of justice, the f.b.i. and other intelligence organizations. now part of the department of treasury's office of terrorism and financial intelligence, fincen is also the lead office in fighting the war on terror, combating financial crime and enforcing economic sanctions against rogue nations. the recent economic crisis has demonstrated how important fincen's effort are to our security because it was fincen that was providing some of the earliest information regarding the financial crisis.
fincen was one of the first to highlight the ever growing problem of mortgage fraud and it continues to track this problem today. earlier this month, for instance, fincen helped the f.b.i. release a new report estimating a 36% increase in mortgage fraud between fiscal years 2007 and 2008. we must make greater efforts at reversing this trend. the information provided to the government organizations by fincen is essential to defeat terrorists. the ability to follow the money trail really truly provides our intelligent and law enforcement community with information that leads to a broader understanding of terrorist organizations and drug dealers. my amendment will provide fincen with additional resources and is an investment in the financial and economic security of the country. fincen is currently going through a process of modernizing and upgrading their technology so they're better equipped to monitor, detect and battle crimes in the 21st century. we need these efforts to support continued success.
so investing in fincen's i.t. modernization will create a greater opportunity of identifying those who have misrepresenting the health and size of their investments to their clients. it will provide the necessary tools for analyzing financial information and detect criminal wrong doing. and finally, this measure will provide needed support and coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement. so especially in this time, mr. speaker, of economic crisis, our government agencies need the best information possible to confront these important issues of financial and economic security and fincen can ber, so thank you, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york. for what purpose does he rise? mr. serrano: i'd like to ask unanimous con sent to claim the time in opposition although i'm not opposed to the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i appreciate the gentleman's attention to the financial crimes enforcement network. i would like to point out that the appropriations committee has
been very supportive of fincen. the reported bill provided the administration's request of funding increase of $11.3 million or 12.3%, including $10 million to begin upgrades of the bank secrecy act database used by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies. we recognize the intent by the gentleman. we think it's a good amendment and we accept it. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. serrano: as i'm accepting an amendment? certainly. mr. paulsen: i just want to say that -- the chair: the gentleman from new york yield? mr. serrano: i do. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i thank you so much and thank the chairman for yielding. i want to indicate that our side is also in support of the gentleman's amendment. financial crimes are really something that needs to be looked at. the gentleman's amendment takes care of it and i want to commend the gentleman from minnesota as a new member of the house for bringing this important issue to our attention and i thank the chairman for yielding to me.
the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: i thank the chairman and gentleman and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have. it the amendment is adopt -- agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman, i have an amendment made in order under the rule. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. price of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from georgia, mr. price, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: i thank the chair.
mr. chairman, this is a very simple amendment. it strikes $4.2 million from the bill, decreases the funding in the bill, to strike the funding for the president's council of economic advisors. on january 20, 2009, when barack obama was inaugurated as president of the united states, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.6%. in the outstanding public debt of the nation stood at $10.627 trillion. confronted with this dire situation, the president urged congress to pass an economic stimulus package. his solution, an end product containing $787 billion in new deficits for special interest giveaways. and despite many of white house claimed and would suggest knew that it wouldn't work, the american people expected immediate results because the president and his administration sold it as such. peter orszag, the director of the office of management and budget, in respondsing to a question from cnn on when would americans feel some benefit from
the job losses? stated, it will take weeks to months. now the president and his administration are backtracking on the stimulus package in his most recent weekly address he id, quote, the recovery act was not designed to wrork in four months. it was designed to work over two years. unquote. well, mr. chairman, that's news to the american people. who have taken notice and they've lost faith in the president's economic policies. most folks think he simply doesn't have a plan that works. one of the biggest cheerleaders of the president's economic policies, the executive office's most responsible for the infective and destructive policies that we're seeing today, is the council for economic advisors and its chair, christine roamer. she out toed in a report which served as the basis for selling the nonstimulus plan to the american people that such a plan, the unemployment rate would max out at 8%, if the plan were adopted. in fact, she said, without it the unemployment rate would top out at 9%.
well, to put it mildly, the administration and ms. romer was wrong. more than 14 million individuals are unemployed under their watch. now the council of economic advisors is championing a new sweeping health care reform and selling it as part of the economic recovery. a report recently titled by the council of economic advisors, the economic case for health care reform, unquote, actually claims that slowing the annual growth rate of health care costs by 1.5 percentage rates would increase the gross domestic product. yet, using the chair's own modeling, house republicans have determined that 4.7 million jobs will be lost as a result of the taxes on businesses which cannot afford to provide health insurance coverage. it's clear that this administration is about more
taxes, more borrowing and less jobs. if the taxes in the stimulus package is not proof enough, look at the upcoming plan to destroy the private lending system and on and on and on. so the question must be asked, what responsible economist would actually advocate for this administration's job killing plan and the answer is the council of economi advisors. my amendment is more than to eliminate funding. the council doesn't have a plan to get america back to work. i urge we adopt this amendment which is a commonsense amendment that moves us in the direction of not only coming up -- saving money but coming up with a responsible plan. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: to oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: first of all, i think it's important to realize that a lot of members, especially -- well, all members on the other side will get up and make it sound like the last few months have been the months that caused this economic crisis we're in. the fact is this president is trying to clean up the mess that was created in the last eight years because the prior president left this economy in pretty good shape. it fell apart during these last eight years and we're trying to recover. the council of economic advisors was created in 1946 when the country faced a major economic crisis just as we do today. at the end of the second world war many feared that the economy would sink back into depression with the phase out of war spending. the congress wanted to assure the sound economic advice would be provided at the highest levels of the administration. in the wake of a stock market bubble followed by a housing bubble that we've recently had, people have reason to worry
about where the growth and jobs of the future will come. we need to help the administration make better policy for the future. today, c.e.a. has evaluated the recovery act, energy and greenhouse gas policies, tax changes, job and training programs, and other major economic challenges of our time. as the administration develops policies in all these critical areas, the c.e.a. brings solid scientific evidence on the economic effects of alternative policies into the discussion. this is probably one of those times where we really need to kind of a federal agency and this is not the time to do away with it. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
the gentleman from new york -- from georgia. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. how much time remains on each side? the chair: the gentleman has a minute and a quarter and the gentleman from new york has two minutes. you have a minute and a quarter. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the comments of my friend, but if we could hear the american people and their response to once again this blaming previous administrations, they would say, look, give me a break. give me a break. the american people are hurting. millions of americans are out of work, yet the obama administration and congressional democrats promised that their $1 trillion stimulus bill would create jobs immediately. and the unemployment rate wouldn't rise above 8%. instead 1.96 million jobs lost since this administration started. $2 trillion more in debt since this administration started. in june alone, almost half a million jobs were lost driving the unemployment rate to 9.5%, the highest level in 26 years. so it's clear that the
democrats' $1 trillion stimulus plan isn't working and every american has a right to ask, where are the jobs? where are the jobs? this is about jobs. this majority clearly doesn't have the appropriate program. this administration clearly doesn't have the appropriate program. democrats are clearly on the side of more government, more taxes. republicans, however, mr. chairman, are on the side of the american people. aurge adoption of the amendment and i -- i urge adoption of the amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. serrano: it's very easy for folks on the other side say let's not talk about the past administration. i agree that is not my intention. in fact, our president has said on many occasions, the past is the past. but if we keep coming up and making it sound like something happened january 20 until today that brought us to our knees economically, then it is my role and everybody else's role on this side just to clarify,
to discuss a little history. and the history is the fact that this economy is in bad shape, not for anything that's happened this year but what happened in the past. on this amendment, this is the wrong time to get rid of this. this is the wrong time to move against it. we need it more than ever. and i hope that people will defeat this amendment. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia, mr. price. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. price: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: on that i request the yeas and nays. the chair: do you request a recorded vote? mr. price: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in
house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri rise? mrs. emerson: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mrs. emerson of missouri. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. emerson, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the distinguished gentlewoman from missouri. mrs. emerson: thank you. my amendment would help the help america vote act. the president asked for $52 million for election reform programs, $50 million for grants to states and $2 million for research and other initiatives. my amendment would simply return the state grant funding level in this account to the same amount that the president's budget requested. 62% of the states have not even
applied for their fiscal year 2008 -- 2008 help america vote funds. of the $115 million provided for state grants in fiscal year 2008, only about 20% of the funds have been obligated to the states, $25 million has been given to 18 states. of the $100 million provided for state grants in fiscal year 2009, not even 4% has left the treasury. only two states have received fiscal year 2009 funds. so we have almost $186 million still sitting in the treasury for these grants. now, i think y'all mow me and know well know that if there is a need i am very supportive of matching the funding level for that need. however, i see little need to provide another $100 million in unused funds to then get to a total of $286 million in
untapped funds. i respect my chairman and i respect the need for election reform and certainty in the election process. there's no question that we're obligated to provide for free and fair elections. it's a hallmark of our democracy, and we must always work to safeguard our elections. however, this is one account that has demonstrated lack of funding needs for the coming fiscal year. even the president recognized the opportunity to save the taxpayer $50 million. i urge y'all to do the same and vote yes on my amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york, for what purpose does he rise? mr. serrano: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. holt: i thank the gentleman. nothing is more important in a democracy than the integrity of the democratic process.
everything we do in this body is based on the assumption that the voters put us here as the result of a fair, accessible and accurate process. if there's anything we should not shortchange it is our ability to conduct the most exemplary elections in the world, and we have not reached that standard yet. in fact, the major national election official organizations, and more than 25 civil rights, disability rights and other public interest groups have asserted that local jurisdictions still need all the funding originally authorized by hava to carry out its original requirements. i heard the gentlelady speak. but this letter addressed to every member of congress, from such organizations as the national association of counties, the national association of secretaries of state, the american association of people with disabilities, the naacp legal defense, the paralyzed veterans of america
and others say it's imperative, in their words, that state and local governments receive all the funding that is coming to them, that should be coming to them from hava. they need this funding for poll worker training, for voter education, for putting in place voter systems that are accessible and reliable and as we discussed earlier auditable. they say in this letter, and i ask that it be included in the record, that full funding is necessary to fulfill the promise of hava. i urge my colleagues to support the modest hava funding in this bill and to defeat this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from missouri. mrs. emerson: continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. serrano: how much time do we have on this side? the chair: the gentleman from new york has three minutes. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield
myself whatever time i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: you know, when we buy a car, the first thing they tell us is to make sure we service our car regularly, change the parts that are necessary, oil it, keep it in good shape. we have a democracy, and the gentleman from new jersey says and as everyone knows, at the core of that democracy is the ability to vote and to have our votes counted properly. yet, what we're trying to do here today is to cut away, if you will, from that maintenance program which is more than a maintenance program. what happened here in 2000 and in other places after 2000 was that the american people, regardless of the outcome of the election, were left with the understanding that something was wrong, that the greatest democracy on earth was having a difficult time counting people's votes properly. and so hava was created. hava is still in operation.
hava is still going out to communities. this is not the time to cut hava funds. on the contrary, this is the time to reinforce our core democracy by allocating the necessary funds. get the states the opportunity to deal with this issue. let the states deal with the issues back home that they have to as they meet the federal requirements. so i would oppose this amendment, and i remind those that we don't pay that much attention to elections and how we run them because we've had this for so long in this society and this country that we take it for granted. but 2000 should tell us that we should never take it for granted again and we should pay strict attention to it, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: mr. chairman, i said earlier that i have great respect for my chairman and i certainly have great respect for the gentleman from new jersey who has worked tirelessly on hava and worked to ensure that we have fair
elections across this country. and i do not believe that we should -- to take a quote -- shortchange any piece of the electoral process. but i bring to my colleagues' attention once again the fact that we have $186 million that is sitting in the treasury the states have not tapped into. 60% of the funds from 2008 haven't been -- have been used. we haven't used -- we've only used 4% for 2009. and i think that nobody better than our president understands the need for us to find savings and when we're sitting on $186 million and with the additional $50 million, $52 million that we will have in this account, we are still well over $200 million. and i daresay that at the rate that the states are using this money, we will never spend it and certainly in difficult economic times i truly believe
that deferring to the president's budget request makes good economic sense and yield back the balance of my time. and urge a yes vote on my amendment. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: how much time do we have? the chair: one minute and a half. mr. serrano: a minute and a half. i would urge a no vote on this amendment and i yield the balance of my time to mr. holt from new jersey. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: i thank the gentleman. again, i hear the comments of the ranking member. it's important to point out, in this letter signed by the major election official organizations in the country, the secretaries of state, associations of accounts, election officials and so forth, they say that the rate at which the funding has been available to them in the past has led, in their words, many state and local governments to scale back on their initial plans for implementation of
hava. we must, as, again, in their words, meet the promise of hava. this is not an imagined ex pension --ential pence. this is a real expense to preserve democracy -- expense. this is a real expense to preserve democracy and we have it on real authority from the people doing the work that this money is needed. i yield back to the chairman any remaining time. mr. serrano: i urge a no vote. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from missouri. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mrs. emerson: on that i ask for a recordered -- recorded vote. the chair: the amendment is not agreed to. the gentlelady asks for a record vote. further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from missouri will be postponed.
it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from tennessee rise? mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mrs. blackburn of tennessee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentlewoman from tennessee, mrs. blackburn, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. again today i rise in defense of the american taxpayer. mr. chairman, we were greeted this week with the unfortunate news that we have already spent $1 trillion more than we have taken in in this fiscal year. the projections for next year are no better, many think they're even worse.
and yet here we find ourselves on the floor again. one more day, one more appropriations bill, one more debate about spend, spend, spend. everybody in this chamber knows that i am the grandmother of two precious little boys. their future is so special and precious to me. and because of that, every day when i come to work i think about the ramifications of the votes that i take and what it is going to do to them and every day i come down here and what i try to do is slow the growth of government spending. it is completely out of control. it is about to bankrupt this nation and it is costing us jobs, jobs, jobs. and i do that because my grandsons already at the age of 14 months and 1 month, they already owe $70,000 to uncle sam.
the debt that we run up here will be paid in their denied opportunities of tomorrow. i just can't run up that debt with the clear conscience and i really don't think that if my colleagues stopped to think about it, that they would want to be running up that type debt either. that is especially true when we consider the funding for the programs that are before us today because that funding has risen over 52% in the past three years. these same programs have already received $7 billion this year in stimulus funding. and yet we propose another $6.-- 6.4% increase, another $1.5 billion increase more than last year that will include a new $5 million for a program called youth services. when i saw that i thought, my goodness, i wonder how our youth will end up servicing the massive debt that we are leaving them to handle? my 5% across the board cut will
save the taxpayer $1.2 billion. my friends on the other side of the aisle will no doubt rise in opposition to this bill and they're going to tell their constituents how hard they've worked in committee, how responsible the bill is and as one of my constituents said, it must be mighty hard work to spend $1 billion an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is exactly what is happening in congress. i just don't buy the lines about hard work anymore and neither does the american taxpayer. how hard can we be working, how many hard choices can possibly be being made by members of this chamber when every year we spend more and more and more? my colleagues may say that they aren't increasing funding by all that much, if you don't count the stimulus money and you don't count the special appropriations, but we have already spent that money on programs. and i do count that money and i
count it because the ones who are going to have to pay that back are our children and our grandchildren. mr. chairman, the gentleman across the aisle from me may offer a series of programs that his party claims are just too vital to be cut and i would challenge him take that list to his constituents, to lots of grandmoms like me, and just ask them if they agree. i would concede that, yes, indeed we do have critical programs that need to be funded. i would simply suggest that in this economy, when people are losing their jobs, when businesses are struggling, with $1 trillion deficit already on the books for this year, that we consider reducing by 5% the amount of increase that is before us today. and so now so that my colleagues
can dazzle me with their washington-style math, i will reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: it's interesting that when we speak about debt, we never bring up the debt that the last administration rang up through the iraq war. that's got to be at least half a trillion dollars, if not more. and i'm still waiting to find the weapons of mass destruction. secondly, if i may brag for a second, i've got the gentlewoman beat, i have four grandchildren, and i don't want to saddle them with any debt in the future. but i think that this bill speaks to another issue that deals with them and that is their present, so that they don't continue to be ripped off by crooks on wall street and yet the gentlewoman's cut, for instance, would cut $51 million from the securities and exchange commission which would slash $1 -- 120 staff members who have been placed here now to go after
the crooks on wall street and all the other folks that created a problem for my four grandchildren now. and so, yes, it is important to talk about the future, but it's also important to talk about the present. and what i keep hearing from folks is that, in a desire to save money now, we should do nothing to go after those people who created, who created much of the problems that we are facing now. let me give you another example. the i.r.s., new enforcement initialtifics would go unfunded, resulting in over $600 million in lost tax revenues. your 5% cut, the gentlewoman's 5% cut, would take away funding that goes after my grandchildren, no? , after their parents, no? they would go after the millionaires and the zillionaires who are parking money overseas and who are now paying their fair share -- not paying their fair share of
taxes. the gentlewoman would cut people to go after this. if this amendment passes, the small business administration would not be able to meet the borrowing needs of small businesses. s.b.a. lending in its popular loan program which both sides support would be reduced by $857 -- $875 million. many small businesses, and we hear so often on that side about how much they love small business people, many small businesses have turned to the s.b.a. for loans as the credit markets have tighten under. making less credit available to small businesses in this economic downturn. as this amendment proposes is exactly the wrong thing to do. the federal courts would be impacted. with a 5% across the board. 1,000 full time employees would be reduced from the federal courts. on and on, absolutely, you were right, i have a list. but the list is not a list made up by staff or myself just for
me to have something to say. it is the result of the impact of a 5% reduction. and so it makes a lot of sense to say in some cases, it scores a lot of points to say, i want to cut the budget by 5%. but i think when you look at what we're talking about, you're hurting the very people we should protect. so let me once again say, i appreciate the fact that the gentlewoman has two grandchildren that she wants to protect in the future. i have four that i want to protect in the future, but i want to make sure that we protect them now by making sure that they don't get ripped off again or their parents as we did the last couple of years and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from tennessee has 30 seconds remaining. mrs. blackburn: i thank the gentleman. what we are saying is save a nickel out of a dollar. a nickel out of a dollar, out of the amount of increase that is being given. all of these programs sound great, but may i remind my colleagues, this administration
has piled up more debt, more debt than every previous administration from george washington to george bush. you must have liked the deficit spending so much that you're doing more and more and more and more of it. there are some of us that have come to this floor repeatedly, budgets and appropriations should be about priorities. i encourage a yes vote on my amendment. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: we always talk about the debt. the debt was as a result of the last administration. in fact, all of these bailout programs started while we had another president in office. the fact of life is that we have to protect the president -- present, we have to make sure the past doesn't come back and this 5% cut would hurt the very agencies in this bill that are supposed to assure us of a better present and a better future. i oppose the amendment and urge its defeat and yield back the
balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from tennessee. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mrs. blackburn: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from tennessee will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house resolution 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. broun: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. broun of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from georgia, mr. broun, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey -- georgia. mr. broun: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of my amendment which eliminates funding for the climate czar.
their deputies and staff salaries for the council on environmental quality. for too long, the executive branch has skirted senate confirmation proceedings and congressional oversight by appointing officials to oversee vast parts of the federal government. administration from both parties have been guilty of this practice. it's time for it to stop. mr. speaker, we do not need and should not have czars. the last time i checked, only precommunist russia had czars. and we are most certainly not russia. but the word czar aptly described the kind of power that these positions hold in our federal government. and the current administration has no fewer than 30 czars. unfortunately the rules committee has been in their practice not allowed an amendment to eliminate all of
these positions. the c.e.q. was mandated by congress 30 years ago. while their senate chairman is confirmed and their members are various agency heads, the secrecy which they operate in is totally unacceptable and it should be unacceptable to every member of this house. it's no small secret that council actions are advertly political and lacking a proper legislative check. and it didn't just happen overnight. the previous administration's c.e.q. had his fair share of problems as well. i have no problem with this administration or any administration for that matter seeking advice from outside experts on the important issues of the day. in fact, that's how it should be, but the recent actions by the council with regards to the army corps of engineers as well as their so-called oversight on the projects from the
democrats' nonstimulus bill, to name just two, have forced me to resort to defunding their operations. obviously i would have preferred to remedy this problem through the normal committee process, but that option has not been afforded members of the minority of this congress. attempting to fix these issues in the appropriations process is less than desirable, but that's all that's afforded the minority right now. and that should be unacceptable to the american people. i urge my colleagues to wake up and reclaim our constitutional footing as the check on the stpwhreck tif branch and vote yes -- executive branch and vote yes on my amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: i'd like to yield
two minutes to one of our colleagues and subcommittee chairman, mr. dicks. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. dicks: thank you, mr. chairman. the gentleman's amendment represents a misguided view on the subject of climate change and global warming. as the united states finally faces up to its responsibility to adapt to climate change, the gentleman wants to hobble our efforts for some illlogical fact. i'm about our response to them. we need all the -- i am glad about our response to them. we need all the expertise we can muster. my friend, carol browner, brings her respected experience as former head of e.p.a. to this job. the president, as well as the entire country, could not be better served in this important battle. also, the gentleman appears to want to defund the council on environmental quality. the c.e.q. under nancy sutly is probably one of the best repository of environmental
expertise and the united states is well served by them. and it was created under -- nepa was created and richard nixon signed it into law. as chairman of the interior and environmental appropriations committee, i'm proud of the fact that we have dramatically increased funding for climate change science and wildlife mitigation over the last few years. but as my good friend, mike simpson, who is the ranking member on the interior subcommittee, repeatedly has said, we must make sure that the increased spending to combat climate change is spent properly. and i think that carol browner can also provide that kind of oversight at the white house. why anyone would want to refuse her work is beyond me. i urge a no vote on this very, very mischievous amendment. i yield back the rest of my time to the chairman. the chair: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. broun: how much time do i have left?
the chair: the gentleman from georgia has two minutes remaining and the gentleman from new york has three minutes remaining. mr. broun: thank you, mr. chairman. this is about transparency and accountability. this administration is a-- has appointed more czars that precommunist russia had. and the one we are trying to defund is just one of many. congress has no oversight. this is totally unacceptable. it should be unacceptable to you guys, too, mr. chairman, as well as every member of this house it should be unacceptable that we have czars appointed in what's posed to be a free society, in a democratic republic, representative government. congress has the authority and responsibility to oversee the administration, and we're not doing our job, frankly. and it's about time for us to do this job.
if i could have your time. mr. dicks: we had at least 50 oversight hearings on this bill. mr. simpson and i -- mr. broun: i reclaim the balance of my time. this administration had given all these czars tremendous amounts of power outside the per view of what they should have under the constitution of the united states. and this particular czar doesn't look at scientific fact that there are thousands of scientists that say that there is minimal, if any, human effect on global temperatures. we have an administration who has loaded up this council with people who are carrying out a political process and has been politicized, and it should be totally unacceptable. it should be to me.
it should be to all of us. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i have three minutes remaining? the chair: the gentleman has three minutes remaining. mr. serrano: i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. serrano: yes, we do have oversight, but it's funny how the other side never claimed oversight when the white house having meetings determining what our energy policy should be between the white house and lobbyists and no members of congress were present. or when the white house and the administration knew there was torture and other actions going on and nothing was being said. mr. broun: will the gentleman yield? mr. serrano: i am not going to yield at this point. however, the problem is that this may rise to a new legislative low because traditionally on these committees we respect the white house. when president bush was in and this committee was in function, we let basically the white house half their staff members as needed. and now what we're trying to do here legislatively is to fire
people at the white house. that's the wrong thing to do and we should oppose it. mr. broun: will the gentleman yield? mr. serrano: i would -- mr. broun: will the gentleman yield? the chair: does the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time or yield back? mr. serrano: at this time i would like to recognize for the balance of my time mr. rahall. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. serrano: chairman rahall. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. serrano: he takes care of all puerto rico issues. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rahall: i thank the gentleman for that recognition. mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the pending amendment. it is what i view a vindictive manner that it seeks to prohibit the payment of a salary of any person employed and the assistant to the president on energy and climate change and deputy assistant. as the chairman of the committee on natural resources, which has jurisdiction over the national environmental policy act and hence c.e.q., i can assure my colleagues that eliminating this entity, which
is the goal of the pending amendment, would have severe repercussions on our nation's environment and economy. c.e.q., at least under president obama, has served to coordinate policy among various federal agencies and provide regulatory stability. coordination and stability. i witnessed this firsthand recently with respect to the coal surface mining in my home state of appalachia. the e.p.a. was off on one course. the u.s. army corps of engineers off on another course. and the coal industry caught in between was the subject of conflict and requirements with nobody able to provide it with a road map on how to -- road map on how to get permits. it was c.e.q. that stepped in, got the regulatory entities together, resulted in a plan on appalachia coal mining. now the efficacy of that action plan remains to be seen, i grant you, but at least a plan is in place and the rules of engagement are set forth. now, if this amendment is part
of a continued protest against the administration's position on climate change, let me clear on that point. i voted against the house cap and trade bill. i did not support it. but i do support as the subcommittee chairman has said the right of this president or any president to establish positions in his or her own white house. and if president obama wants he wants an assistant on climate change, it was the right of him. it was the right of president bush before him and many other presidents in the past. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this ill conceived, vindictive -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. all time has expired. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. broun: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. broun: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman
ask for a recorded vote? mr. broun: yes, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: for the purpose of a parliamentary inquiry. the chair: the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry. mr. flake: i plan to ask for unanimous consent to modify my amendment to reflect some of the amendments throughout this process that were not made in order by the rules committee. what i want to know is is it in order, is it ok if the other side, can they agree with the unanimous consent request and is it possible for them to do so and allow these other amendments to be offered? mr. serrano: i object, mr. chairman.
the chair: the gentleman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. mr. flake: the parliamentary inquiry -- the chair: the gentleman will state his inquiry. mr. flake: under unanimous consent, can the majority party agree to modify my amendment? the chair: he has a hypothetical question. if the gentleman wishes to make the unanimous consent request to modify his amendment that request -- mr. flake: yes. the chair: that amendment is made in order at the time the amendment is pending. mr. flake: ok. i'll go ahead and notice the amendment. the chair: does the gentleman wish to offer amendment number 7? does the gentleman wish to offer amendment number 7? mr. flake: yes, i do. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house
resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. the chair: without objection. the clerk will report the modification. the chair hear objection? mr. serrano: i object it, yes, twice. the chair: objection is heard. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. flake: i thank the medicare. what i wanted to establish is that by unanimous consent the majority party could agree for me to modify my amendment. now, i was allowed for 11 amendments under this rule to strike earmarks from the bill. unfortunately, numerous members, dozens of members were denied the ability to offer any amendments on this bill. it seems the majority party only wants to deal with those amendments that they know they could win. now, under tradition, this house has brought appropriation
bills to the house, to the floor, under an open rule. we've broken with tradition this year. there's a headline on a.p. wire right now that says house democrats muzzle g.o.p. on sensitive issues. that's pretty accurate headline. that's exactly what's happening here. now we were told it was a time constraint issue, that we simply couldn't fit all the appropriation bills under a certain amount of time so we had to restrict the number of amendments. that's what the world was told here, the country was told. we find out that's not the case at all. we have a time limit under this bill. i have 11 amendments. i'm willing to modify my amendments to reflect some of those that were denied, amendments that were germane. the first one i have at the desk is one that would protect broadcaster freedom. this is an amendment that was offered last year in the appropriation bill, was germane, and it received 309 votes from this chamber.
but the majority leadership doesn't want to vote on that. and so they've denied the authors of that amendment the ability to come to the floor and offer it. and so i'm willing to substitute that for one of mine under unanimous consent but the gentleman objected twice. and so we won't be able to do that. so i just want to say on the record and i'll say it again and again, this process is not right. we know that's not -- this isn't the way it should be done. house democrats are muzzling the g.o.p. on sensitive issues, just like the headlines now read. it's not an issue of time. we're under time constraints already. we're willing to simply substitute time for time, but the majority party simply will not allow it. now, to the merits of this amendment. i'm seeking to strike funding,
$100,000 from funding a small business incubator at the university of west georgia. this would reduce the overall costs to the bill by a commensurate amount. this is going to a business inc. baitor. you will -- incubator. you will see that a lot, if they are at some university or some other umbrella, we're taking money from the treasury here, money that we have to borrow and funding business incubators. now, a business incubator, it's a bit of a nebulous term. it means different things in different places. but apparently here it's simply to help -- offer counseling, resource information, distant learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business ventures. that kind of thing is done all the time in every state everywhere but not everybody gets a federal earmark to do that.
and it's not fair to do it here. people that get this kind of money should have to compete for it if that money is available at all. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri rise? mrs. emerson: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. emerson: funding recommendations in this bill were made in full compliance with the applicable rules and procedures of the house. on a bipartisan basis we have scrutinized thousands of member requests and recommended funding for those projects we believe are most meritorious. in addition, the small business administration was given an opportunity to vet this project and provided the committee with no negative feedback regarding the project or the grantee. i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and i yield such time to the gentleman from georgia, mr. gingrey. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. gingrey: and i thank the ranking member, mr. speaker, for
yielding to me. and i want to say right off that i support the gentleman's request for unanimous consent, but i certainly rise to oppose this striking amendment number 7 by my friend and colleague from arizona. i want to thank chairman serrano and ranking member emerson for supporting this request, this project. the gentleman from arizona, i commend him, i think that his heart is true and consistent in regard to wanting to reduce government spending and waste and i think he should be commended for that and i think the gentleman from arizona knows that i, too, feel the same way. in fact, i've introduced legislation to bring some fairness and equity to member initiatives and to cut them in half, indeed, and know the gentleman is aware of that. he doesn't know a lot about this
project and i'm sure that a lot of members, when their project for their district, for their constituents is challenged, they may dread coming down here to the floor. but i don't dread it at all. i'm thrilled to have an opportunity to come down and explain to the gentleman about this project. very simply, this is a $100,000 which would go to the university of west georgia's small business development center and their partnership with carol county economic development foundation center to simply fund the expansion of their small business support center or incubator. this center, it already exists, mr. speaker, it provides resources ranging from business counseling to temporary office space to technical support and access to online database of angel investor networks looking to support potentially successful small businesses.
specifically this expansion will target the more than 12,000 veterans from west georgia that will be returning in the coming year, given the tight job market, 30% or more of these returning veterans will attempt to start their own business and that will likely require some type of support in beginning that effort. i urge my colleagues to oppose this striking amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from arizona has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. flake: i thank the chair and the gentleman for his kind words. i think i'm the most commended member in this body who never wins an amendment. nevertheless, i think that when you look at what's being funded here, these are activities that go on all over the country, whether they're sponsored by universities, whether they're sponsored by business groups, chambers of commerce, other associations. and to single one out and say that the university of west georgia is deserving of a federal earmark for their
project, for their business incubator, simply doesn't make sense. we have a deficit this year that will approach $2 trillion by the time we finish the fiscal year. we are borrowing money from the taxpayers all over this country, or actually borrowing it from foreign countries. and we're asking the taxpayers and future generations of taxpayers to pay for it. because we don't have the money to fund these programs. this bill increases spending in the financial services appropriation bill, i think $1.6 billion or so increase over last year, and yet we're funding projects as if we have no problem at all, as if money grows on trees here. and it doesn't. and at some point i think we have to step back and say we can't continue to do business this way. at some point we have to say we're going to strike an earmark or we're going to save some money somewhere. i would suggest that now is the time.
if we're not going to do it now, i don't know when we're going to do it. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from missouri has two minutes remaining. mr. gingrey: mr. chairman, thank you. you know, again, a lot of what the gentleman says i can agree with. but i continue to believe that some portion of federal dollars that my constituents send to washington is returned back to them and to our district. the 11th of georgia. yes, preferably through tax relief, but when necessary, through direct support of responsible and well vetted local initiatives. let me explain to the gentleman. provide just a little more context for this request and the needs that this center is seeking to meet. here are the six counties that the center services as well as the unemployment rate in each county. carol county, 11% unemployment. bar it tow, 11.5%. floyd account, 10.4%. pauly, 9.8%, harrelson, 12.2%
unemployment and pope, 10.5% unemployment. as i said, mr. chairman, at the outset in defending this initial against the gentleman's -- initiative against the gentleman's amendment to strike, this is a good project. and he says, you know, well why don't they go through the regular process? well, i think if they went through the regular process, this project would have a 98% chance of getting funded. but i think it's my responsibility, if i can, to make sure that we don't take that 2% chance. i proudly stand here and defend this project and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. flake: on that, mr. chairman, i'd ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6
of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. this is number 8. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: objection is heard. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. flake: that didn't sound like the clerk. so i guess we've been objected to again. again, what i'm trying to do here is modify my amendment to reflect one of the amendments that was rejected by the rules committee. this particular amendment would keep in place the restrictions
that have been in place for a long, long time against using taxpayer money to fund abortion services. and the sponsors of this amendment on both sides of the aisle felt so strongly about it that many of them on the other side of the aisle voted against the rule. so when time expired just about an hour or so ago to vote on the rule for this bill, it was about 10 votes short of passing because more than 30 democrats voted against the rule. now, the vote was held open for an inordinate amount of time so that leadership could twist some arms and change some votes to get this rule to pass. you had members on both sides of the aisle feel that strongly about bringing an amendment to the floor, but the majority party leadership decided no, that we should be muzzled, not just on this side, but members on that side of the aisle as well. and, mr. chairman, that's just not right.
but that's what happens when you declare martial law on appropriation bills and say to the world, we can't do it because time does not allow and then when somebody here asks for unanimous consent to simply substitute time for time, one amendment that wasn't allowed in order for one amendment that was, the majority stands up and says, i object. so, let's get rid of the fiction once and for all that this is an issue of time. what it's an issue of, majority leadership does not want members to have the ability to offer the amendments they would like to. we had the gentleman stand up in the last hour who presided a couple of years ago over the interior appropriation bill. he noted that he sat in the chair for over three days to listen to amendments come up on the interior appropriation bills. i remember that time. i offered many of those amendments. there were many amendments that people on both sides of the aisle offered that the leadership on both sides of the
aisle was uncomfortable with. but they allowed it to occur. because that's the way it should work here. thunderstorm martial law rule -- under this martial law rule, we have a structured rule, and the majority leadership picks which amendments can be offered and which ones cannot. and that is simply not right, mr. chairman. now in terms of this amendment, this amendment would prohibit $200,000 from funding the arkansas commercial driving training institute and it would lower the cost of the bill by a commence rat amount. the recipient of this earmark is arkansas state university. it's had a truck driving institute for more than 20 years . i'm all for driver safety, it ly big 18-wheelers that are on the road, but i'm not sure why the federal government is funding this particular driving program. nor do i understand why this institute is receiving another earmark, having received nearly a quarter of a million dollars
in earmark funds in the omnibus bill that we passed just a few short months ago. in fact, it appears that this institute was established and built in part with taxpayer dollars, federal taxpayer dollars, thanks to nearly $350,000 earmark it received in the fiscal 2008 transportation spending bill. a quick search on the internet shows there are dozens and dozens and dozens of commercial driving training schools all over the country. none of them have received this kind of federal largess. why do we continue to fund institutes like this? aren't some of the others just as deserving, or is it just because we have members in a position to do it? if you look at this chart, you'll get the answer there. this is the financial services bill that we're dealing with now . 60% of the earmarks in this bill are going to just 24% of the body, that represents appropriators, chairmen, ranking minority members, so-called powerful members, 60%.
if you look at the dollar value of the earmarks ma, that goes up to 70% -- earmark, that goes up to 70%. 70% of the dollars in this earmark bill are going to less than 24% of the body. you'll hear a lot of high minded rhetoric about we can't let those faceless bureaucrats and the bureaucracy decide where the money goes. well, most of the members in this body would do better with faceless bureaucrats than with the appropriations committee because time and time again, and this is a trend that we've seen throughout the appropriation bills this year, small number of members get a big chunk of the cash. and this is going to some organizatis that have gotten earmarks year after year after year after year. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the five seconds he has remaining. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? >> mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i certainly want to thank our distinguished chairman and ranking member of this committee and the staff that's done magnificent work preparing this bill and getting it to the floor and we all appreciate them and what they've done. i try to never rise to speak. i don't encourage anyone that would listen to me to keep in their hearts and minds and in their prayers our men and women in uniform and their families. and i'm delighted to be here to not only hopefully defend this amendment against attacks, but i've heard my friend from arizona's complaints and i would refer him, first of all, to article 1, section 9 of the united states constitution. it says, no money should be
drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. i don't think the bureaucrats have the authority under the constitution to appropriate money. that's the job of this congress, this house and the appropriations committee. and i know my friend from arizona means well. he has good intentions, he does these things in the spirit of camaraderie and never gets too vicious with his attacks. and i appreciate that. he is indeed a good fellow. but my mother used to tell me that the road to the bad place was paved with good intentions. and these people, this truck
driving course takes care of the people that it makes it possible for them to get trained. they're trained for good jobs that already exist. they're not going to get trained and then be out of work. they're going to be trained to operate vehicles over the nation's highways in a safe manner. this program helps to filter out any people that would not be suitable for that type work. that's part of what it does. this is a need that has existing for many, many years, and we have put lots and lots of state money, a lot of local money into this program, and this community college, which does an outstanding job, and it has other programs where it trains people for jobs that already exist. and this is just one of its programs. it would be absolutely foolish for us to deny this little bit
of funding for a place that has worked so hard, has a very difficult time economically and does only take up an evident to try to improve the lives of the people that want to work hard and participate in these programs and be trained for a good job. and so i urge a no vote on this amendment and i would urge my colleagues that choose to oppose earmarks, i like to call them member-directed spending, but i think the constitution is very clear on who is supposed to do that. and if they would choose to be opposed to these member-directed spendings in these bills, then they need to go back to the constitution and see where it says bureaucracy or bureaucrat or federal agency
or the executive branch or anything like that. it doesn't say that. it says the congress has to apply these -- has to pass these laws and make this money available. so i'm delighted to be here and appreciate the opportunity to speak in favor against this amendment, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona, five seconds remaining. mr. flake: i urge support of the amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arkansas. mr. berry: i urge a no vote on this amendment and once again thank the house for its indulgeans. i yield -- for its indulgence. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the aye noes have it. mr. flake: i ask for a recorded vote, mr. chairman. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 9. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 944, the gentleman from arizona, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i have a modification for the amendment. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: without objection, the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: i'd like to engage in a colloquy. i would wonder why the majority doesn't want to consider these amendments that weren't made in order. mr. serrano: the rules committee made in order a certain amount of amendments.
the rules committee is a body composed of members from both sides. that's the rule that we're working under. and i think that out of respect to the house and the rules that we work under we should accept that as the format for this debate today and not to change it in any way just when we feel like it. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. we have traditions in this house that we ought to uphold. and that's amendments being brought to the floor under an open rule. and we shouldn't change that just because we feel like it. what i'm trying to do is return to the traditions of the house and allow members to bring the amendments that they would like to offer, that their constituents with their voice in washington would like them to be able to offer. but we're not allowed to. as the headline out there read, house democrats muzzle g.o.p. on sensitive issues.
now, this amendment i would like to have offered instead of mine would allow the school choice initiative in washington, d.c., to continue. funding will go away for everyone except those who are currently in the program. over the past several years, thousands of residents of d.c. schools have been able to get -- go to the schools of their choice. now because of this bill being passed today unless an amendment is accepted otherwise those children will be denied that choice. now, that is an amendment that has support on this side of the aisle and the other side of the aisle that it was an amendment that was offered to the rules committee. it was fully germane. it was in order to be considered. it was simply rejected because the majority leadership did not want this body to vote on it. i don't know why. we'll have to all speculate.
but the fact is that we're taking the time that could have been offered for this amendment and allowing that one to be offered instead so we're not increasing the time for these appropriation bills. the majority party is still objecting to that unanimous consent request. now, with regard to this amendment, this amendment would prohibit $200,000 from -- $285,000 from idaho proof concept. this idaho techconnect accelerates it by connecting people, resources and ideas. here's another one that's pretty much indistinguishable from the last one. it's a business incubator of some type that a group here, idaho techconnect, seems to think that they are worthy of an earmark. it doesn't want to compete for
dollars that might be in an account that congress through its rule under article 1 has instructed the agency to set up. no. it attempts to earmark dollars beyond that. the last gentleman mentioned that congress has the power to appropriate. it certainly does. that's what we do here. that's the most important part what we do here. and we can tell agencies what we can fund and what we can't and we provide them the money to do so. we will often tell them, set up a program by which individuals and organizations around the country can compete for federal dollars. instead here what congress is doing, we don't like what you've set up so we are going to run a parallel program, we're going to earmark dollars for these programs because if the organization in my district had to compete for those dollars, they may not get them. there's only a 98% chance they will get them. i want to make sure they do. or there's a 5% they get it. i want to make sure they get these moneys.
so we run a parallel track here. i can't find the word bureaucrat in the constitution. nor can i find the word earmark. congress has the power to appropriate, but we authorize, we appropriate and we have oversight functions and we're circumventing that process when we earmark in this fashion. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri rise? mrs. emerson: i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. mrs. emerson: funding recommendations were made in full compliance with the applicable rules and procedures of the house. in addition, the small business administration was able to vet this project. it provided the committee with no negative feedback to the project and the grauntee. mr. simpson, the sponsor of this amendment, was unable to come to the floor due to other business. i ask unanimous consent to submit mr. simpson's statement for the record.
the chair: the gentlewoman's request will be covered under general leave. mrs. emerson: i yield to the distinguished minority leader, mr. boehner. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. boehner: i want to thank mr. flake for having my amendment offered. as you know, the gentleman tried to substitute for his amendment an amendment that would provide for a continuing scholarship program for students, poor students here in the district of columbia. this is an issue that many of us fought very hard for some five or six years ago, and unfortunately the administration and the majority party here in the house have decided to end this program and only allow those students who are currently enrolled to finish. does nothing to address the siblings of these students that are in these schools. and the reason this program was
set up was because the district of columbia had some of the worse schools in america. and while we spend nearly $15,000 per student for the students here in the district of columbia, this small program was serving -- is serving about 2,200 kids. 2,200 kids to give them a chance. and all we wanted was an opportunity to debate the continuation of this program, but the majority party says, no, no, no. we can't have a debate on that. why? because we might win. and it wouldn't be us winning. it would be the poor kids here in d.c. who are currently getting these scholarships. but we can't even have the debate. we can't even have a vote. this -- what has this place become? i just think it's outrageous that members on either side of the aisle don't have an
opportunity to offer amendments to these appropriation bills. this process has now gone on for four or five weeks and it warrants it will go on for the next couple of weeks. this has not happened in the 18 1/2 years i've been here. the 19th appropriations season i have been through i have not seen anything like this in terms of the majority willing to suppress virtually all the members of the house on both sides of the aisle. and i think that the amendment that i wanted to offer to help save this program for poor kids here in d.c. was a worthy amendment. and i think members on both sides of the aisle wanted to have an opportunity to debate that amendment and have a vote on it. but, no, it couldn't happen. so i would urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona's 15 seconds remaining. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman and the gentleman's comments, the minority leader.
we ought to allow substitution of this amendment. there's no reason other than if the majority party simply doesn't want to have the debate or have the vote. with that i urge support of this amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair.
i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. the clerk: modification -- mr. serrano: i'm sorry. i did not hear what the gentleman is asking for. the chair: the gentleman asked unanimous consent to modify his amendment. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: the objection is heard. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: i thank the chair. this amendment that i had hope to substitute was an amendment offered by the gentleman, mr. gingrey from georgia, which would simply have prohibited union activity on government time. apparently it's an amendment that the majority leadership did not want this body to -- it's a debate that they didn't want this body to have. it's an amendment that they didn't want this body to vote on. now it's a shame because it would be a five-minute time limit. five minutes per side just as the same as this amendment. it's not an issue of time. there were a lot of amendments
submitted to the rules committee. far fewer were made in order. but now we have the time established and we was wanting to substitute one germane amendment for another germane amendment but the majority party is objecting once again. and so i think that the headline that was just out, house democrats muzzle g.o.p. on sensitive issues, is completely correct. and it's a shame, mr. chairman. this would prohibit $200,000 in funding for the northeast entrepreneur fund and would reduce the cost of the bill by a commensurate amount. according to the sponsor's website, the northeast entrepreneur fund has, quote, helped start, stabilize or expand more than 1,100 local businesses, and helped train or retain more than 3,000 jobs. the certification letter indicated that the funding for the green stone group would, quote, strengthen 500 entrepreneurs in the region through group-based learning, peer support and access to various business services. again, here we have another
business incubator. this is something that private sector organizations, chambers of commerce, trade associations, other businesses offer and do all over this country. hundreds in every state. yet here we're singling one out and saying, this one is worthy of a federal earmark. and we're going to give $200,000 to it. that's not right, mr. chairman. we can't continue to spend money this way. every dime that we're spending over and above what we spent last year and a lot of what we spent last year is borrowed, when will we decide enough is enough? that we can't continue to do business as usual and fund earmarks in this fashion? i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i take the
opportunity to thank the chairman of the full committee, mr. obey, and chairman of the subcommittee, mr. serrano, the ranking member, mrs. emirson, -- emerson, for acknowledging the merits of this proposal and including these funds for the green stone group. i have respect for the gentleman from arizona. he's consistent, persistent and sincere in his opposition to constituent-inspired investments that members offer on their behalf. but were this to -- were he to prevail, he'd in fact be muds -- muzzling job-creating opportunities in northeastern minnesota, an area of my district where unemployment rates are 12.9%, 15%, 16% in one community after another. the term green stone group is derived from the mineral deposit that underlies much of
northeastern minnesota's mining country. it's a natural resource based economy. we've been losing jobs with a downturn in steel and iron ore production. the iron ore mines are completely shut down, some 6,000 jobs have been lost. a bright spot is the northeast entrepreneur fund. the gentleman, in fact, cited from the application proposal. the entrepreneur fund, which i've supported for over 20 years, has stabilized and created 1,000 businesses. 2,500 jobs. people who are employed, who are paying federal, state and local taxes that would not otherwise be paid. the return to the federal government on this investment is significant and real and tangible. the entrepreneur fund has provided $700 million in loans
to 350 businesses, over 9,000 individuals have been helped by the funds from the northeast entrepreneur fund. they established a women's business center, they've been an s.b.a. microlender. they're not doing it all by themselves. the gentleman from arizona said, well, this can and should be done by the private sector. well, the james l., john s. and james l. knight foundation, minnesota power company, the lloyd k. johnson foundation all are partners and participants with the northeast entrepreneur fund and the green stone group. there is a public-private partnership that has been very successful and has the support of the private sector. how does this translate? carol, whom i know personally, has a very small company, let the whole world know. without the training, the technical training from the
northeast entrepreneur fund, i could not have done it. i wouldn't be in business without them, she wrote. two beginning entrepreneurs, they were turned down by nine banks until the northeast entrepreneur fund found them, helped them, guided them and jeremy say, without the northeast entrepreneur fund, i wouldn't be in business today. they built a fitness center with their carptry skills and they have 900 clients. they're producing. they're creating jobs in an area that's losing jobs. what the entrepreneur fund and the green stone group do are simply provide in participation with private sector professional business coaching, people with real world business experiences help these beginning entrepreneurs do the right things, develop a good business plan, get on their feet and operate a successful business.
these one-on-one meetings with their coaches help the business owners step back from the day-to-day business, day-to-day job of running their business and see the possibilities for growth and develop a sound business plan. this is a good investment of federal dollars. i urge opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona has 2 1/2 minutes remaining and the right to close. arizona arizona -- mr. flake: i thank the chair. i would yield to the gentleman 30 seconds. if there's any time in the foreseeable future he believes this tint will not be relying on federal funds? mr. obey: -- mr. oberstar: -- mr. flake: any time that he thinks this will not be dependent on federal funds? mr. oberstar: when the private sector lending enterprises can step up on their own and support startup enterprises like that, you won't need a helping hand. but when the private sector
says, we can't do this alone, we need a helping hand, then i think there's an appropriate role for the federal sector to be a partner with the private sector. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. for that clarification. it sounds to me as if, i mean, no member of congress will ever say that in their district there is full employment, there's no need for outside assistance. and this particular entity didn't just -- isn't just receiving this earmark, it received an earmark for nearly a quarter of a million dollars in f.y. 2009 omnibus bill that we passed just a few months ago. so here -- last year's bill, this year's bill, likely next year's bill, there are organizations all over the country that would like, one, to compete for s.b.a. funds on merit rather than on earmark and there are private sector organizations that would like to provide this assistance but
they're competing with government entities that are providing some of the same services. a lot of these services that are indicated here, strengthingen -- strengthening entrepreneurs, group based learning, peer support, these are services provided by the private sector all over the place as well. but these private sector organizations now have to compete with government organizations to survive. and in some cases it's no wonder there aren't private sector organizations, they're crowded out by their government counterparts. and so rather than continuing to fund entities that have received earmarks year after year and have no prospect, no real prospect of not being reliant on federal government funding in the future, we've got to say, enough is enough, we can't continue to spend money this way when we're running a deficit that might approach $2 trillion this year. and with that i urge support of the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields
back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. oberstar: when the gentleman from arizona would wave his magic wand over the northeastern part of my district and restore economic stability and growth and job creation, then we won't need this helping hand, but as i pointed out, there's no crowding out of private sector. in fact, as i cited, one of the participants was turned down nine times by small banks who don't have the backing of big correspondent banks. they couldn't do it on their own, but the northeast entrepreneur fund came in, partnered with them and now we've got jobs created, people working. that is what we're doing. no crowding out. there is a partnership, a public-private partnership, that is successful in job creation and payroll creating and taking people off the unemployment rolls and putting them on payrolls. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. flake: i ask for a recorded vote, mr. chairman. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 11 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk designated at number 11. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: hearing objection, the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: i'm just proud of myself for getting those words out before the objection came. but, again, i would have substituted this time the broadcaster freedom act
amendment, which would have been the same amendment which passed -- we passed last year which needs to be passed every year to prohibit the f.c.c. from bringing back so the called fairness doctrine which would muzzle or gag, much like we're being muzzled or gagged on this side during this debate, it would muzzle or gag, particularly conservative talk radio. that's the purpose that it's been raised in the past and there are fierce -- fears and certainly some support among certain powerful members of this body to reinstate the so-called fairness doctrine. this would prohibit the f.c.c. from spending any funding -- any money to implement that fairness doctrine. but, again, we're being told, well, first we're being told that we don't have time to consider this amendment. we know that's not the case. so the real reason is, the majority leadership does not want this amendment to be considered. they don't want the debate to happen, they don't want a vote to happen. they don't want to put their
members on record. they simply don't want to prohibit funding for that purpose. and it's too bad, mr. chairman. i would hope that we can return to the traditions of this house, have open appropriation bills and have an open debate. this amendment would remove $150,000 in funding for the montgomery county green business incubator and redules the cost of the bill by a commensurate amount. the recipient of this earmark is a montgomery county department of economic development. now i should say i don't know how many counties there are around this country. states like arizona only have, we have large counties and very few states in the south have literally hundreds of counties. just about every county in the country there is a department of economic development. cities have them, states have them. there are literally thousands across this country. but we're singling out one here, the montgomery county department of economic development, and
we're saying, you don't have to compete with everybody else for any dollars that the s.b.a. has to send out because we're going to earmark those dollars and you're going to get them regardless of the merit of your program. it may be good, it may not be, but it doesn't matter because a powerful member of congress can simply say, you're going to get that money. and that's what's happening here. again, these are business incubators, which is a pretty broad topic, providing services that a lot of private sector services across this country already provide with think a reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> i rise to claim the time in opposition, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. first of all, i want to commend my colleague from arizona for taking the time to scrutinize many of these projects. i'm pleased with the changes we have made in this body with respect to transparency and
accountability of the earmark reform process. it's something that my colleague has fought for many years but those changes did not actually take place until the new congress was sworn in in january, 2006. i'm pleased we have gotten to this point and i think the gentleman performs a very useful function here. montgomery county, maryland, has become one of the nation's center in the biotech area. it's one of the top 10 biotech centers in the country and one of the reasons they were able to do that is they pursued a successful strategy of creating incubators. in fact, without objection, mr. speaker, i'd like to include in the record a whole list of the success stories from the montgomery county incubator. the chair: without objection, so ordered. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. we are now adjusting to a new imperative which is to make sure that we as a nation and as communities move in the direction of clean energy technology and energy efficiency and these funds would be used by
montgomery county on a competitive basis to provide funding for startup small businesses, companies that have to meet very rigorous cry tear yarks just the kind that were applied in the biotech sector. and so i think this is an incredible example of strong public-private partnerships and, again, these will be distributed on a very competitive basis. there are going to be a long line of people waitity -- waiting for these requests and they're going to have to meet the competition requirements. i'm pleased to join in this request with my colleague, donna edwards, and, unfortunately, mr. chairman, we're in the ways and means marking up the health bill so i'm going to have to turn it over to my colleague and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from maryland reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: how much time remaining? the chair: the gentleman from arizona has 2 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from
new york has three minutes remaining. mr. flake: and i have the right to close, i understand? the chair: the gentleman is correct. mr. flake: i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. without objection, the gentlewoman from maryland is recognized. the gentlewoman from maryland. ms. edwards: i rise in strong opposition to this amendment. it would prohibit funding for a project that will have a tremendously pozzive economic impact not only to the -- to montgomery county but the constituent of maryland. this is expected to house 20 to 25 new business this is a will create an estimated 460 green jobs in our state. this project is unique and innovative and timely. this is a transformational time for american entrepreneurs, creators and innovators and we have the opportunity not to do the work as government, but to fa sit tail -- facilitate it,
get out of the way of smart green business entrepreneurs. this is not the type of project that should be cut. instead, it should be used as a model for local areas around the nation. it's an example of how local communities can spark economic growth within a region, not with the help of giant outside corporations but with small local businesses most closely connected to the people and their communities. now aside from providing economic growth this green business incubator and others like it around the country is a way to invest in our environment and new environmental technologies, 21st century technologies. the project will use both critical environmental investments and secnology this is a resulted in new climate technologies and accelerated demand for green technologies. this particular area of maryland is a technology hub. in mont -- and montgomery county intends to use the linkage locally with some of
our strongest labs to develop new technologies that are environmentally sound. it's going to take a continuum of technologies to meet our growing environmental and energy needs in the 21st century. we have a strong track record in montgomery county in research and technology. in fy-2009 we had 139 companies . this green business incubator will contain the 21st severage arery labs and communications facilities that fledgling green businesses need to grow and flourish and employ hundreds of workers and generate thousands of dollars in private market capital. i'd like to thank chairman serrano and ranking member emerson for seeing the importance of this in this century and for seeing its potential to spur sound economic growth in maryland in small business.
i urge a no vote on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair. the gentleman who spoke earlier mentioned that this was in the top 10 of something. i know that montgomery county beat out eight competing counties to house the maryland clean energy center, the state's first clearing-house to drive clean energy technologies. we have an organization here, in a county, beating out competition. that's a good thing. but we're telling them, because you're beating out that competition, we're going to give you an earmark so you won't have to compete any more. there are literally thousands, i mentioned, of county departments of economic development around the country who would like a shot at these funds, i'm quite sure. but when they apply for these funds, the s.b.a., they're probably being told that account is oversubscribed, there are too many earmarks in
it you won't be able to compete because a particular powerful member of congress siphoned off funding system of that the organization or institution in his or her district could receive those funds without competing for them. remember, what earmarks really are no-bid contracts. that's basically an acknowledgment that you don't want the institution in your district to compete for funding so you're going to ensure they get it. when you look at a chart like this, it's particularly pernicious when 60% of the share of earmarks are associated with appropriationors, leadership, committee chairs and ranking minority members who comprise 24% of the body, 70% of the dollar value are associated with that group. so you have a spoil system that decides where this money goes. remember, congress has the power to appropriate and what we should do is appropriate, first authorize, then
appropriate, and then conduct proper oversight, but not circumvent that process by saying, we're going to run a parallel program over here in congress and earmark the dollars. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from maryland has 30 seconds remaining. ms. edwards: with all due respect to the gentleman from arizona, and i definitely understand his purpose, the fact of the matter is, this is a great project, not just for the state of maryland, but for this country. it's important for us to look specifically at what a project will accomplish, how many jobs it's going to create in our state of maryland, and the value of that. i agree, i'm not going to pick and choose among business winners and losers in my congressional district but i'll pick and choose for the growth of small business in our community and stand behind those choices. i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona has 30 seconds remaining. mr. flake: the argument we're hearing is akin to saying, you know, this whole college bowl
system, that we have, the b.c.s., that's good, but we think the university of maryland, or arizona state university, or b.y.u. or another organization, we think they're better and so we're just going to award them the national championship. they shouldn't even have to compete in the b.c.s. or anywhere else because we think they're better and because we can, we're going to do that. that's one of the problems. with the contemporary practice of earmarking. for that, i hope that we will accept this amendment and at some point say that we can't continue to spend money in this way. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona, those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. flake: i ask for a recorded vote, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be
postponed. it is now in order to consider -- it is now in order to consider amendment number 12 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk, designated number 12. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report -- designate amendment. the clerk: amendment number 12, printed in house report 111-208, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: hearing objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. flake: the amendment i would have substituted has bipartisan supportmark democrats and many republican, that would simply keep in place the restrictions that have been in place for years with regard to tax-payer -- taxpayer funded abortion. the rule for this bill narrowly passed after the vote was held open for longer than it is supposed to, so a few arms could be twisted to make the rule pass because so many members wanted this amendment to be considered. but yet the leadership on the minority said -- on the majority said said, we don't want to have a debate on, we don't want to have a vote on this. it doesn't matter which side you're on on this issue, i think everyone should agree we should have a vote on it. this is the people's house. people should have the opportunity to vote on issues like this it's not increasing the time for debate, it's substituting one amendment for another. that's unfortunate we won't be able to do that. this amendment would remove
$100,000 in funding for the florida institute of technology in melbourne, florida, to be used for, quote, activity based total accountbility. this, according to earmark sponsor's website, requested just short of $1 million to create a national government services standard program to provide guidelines for which the efficiency of government services can be compared. i will reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> funding recommendations kin colluded in this bill on a bipartisan basis. we have scrutinized thousands of members' requests and recommended funding for those projects that the committee believes are most herer tos you. in addition, they were -- meritous. i urge my colleagues to oppose
this amendment and i yield the balance of my time. i recognize the gentleman from florida. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> immaterial too thank the gentleman for filing this well intentioned but badly misguided amendment. it's not often the members of congress get the opportunity to specifically vote to make government more accountable. by voting on this amendment -- voting no on this, you will have done that the amendment strikes funding if ar government accountability program known as the activity based government accountability institute. government accountability is not a partisan issue, it's a bipartisan issue. the florida legislature established this institute on a strong bipartisan vote. in fact, it was a unanimous vote on the -- vote of the
state legislature and eight members of the current congress, republicans and democrats, supported this legislation when it was first passed by the florida legislature. those members include the likes of outstanding congresspeople, representative wasserman schwartz, -- wasserman schultz, representative cost moss, representative putnam and representative bilirakis and others. we joined together in a bipartisan fashion because we know we needed greater accountability in government and in how taxpayer dollars were being spent and this was a way to accomplish that. i think we can accomplish much when we come together and reach across party lines for greater accountability and for the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. that's why we did this and that's what we did when we passed it and hopefully that's what we will continue to do here today. the activity based total accountability has been
proposed as model legislation by the american legislative exchange council, the nation's oldest and largest bipartisan association of state lawmakers. also the national conference of state ledge slay -- legislators recommended it be model legislation in each and every state. they called it the best legislation to come out of any state in over a decade. if you support better government accountability, you should vote against this amendment, obviously. activity based total accountability helps us better understand unit based accounting. what it does, what it's cost the government to accomplish a certain task, how does that compare on a state by state basis? that's what it tells decisionmakers and the public. it's the most useful kind of cost accounting which presents the costs for all government activities in a format anyone can understand. taxpayers can see line by line what government accomplishes with its resources. florida puts $750,000 into the
establishment of the institute to gather budget data for every state. the comprehensive analysis of apples to apples will help every state spend its resources more efficiently and the federal government's as well. defeating the amendment will allow the program to continue and i respectfully request you join me in voting against the amendment. >> i think it's important to point out and i share my colleague mr. flake's zeile for trying to cut spending and control spending, mr. posey share this is a concern, we are all committed to controlling spending but under the rule this is liberal majority has established, under their pay-go, this bunch think this is a to cut taxes reduces, or increases deaf the deficit and therefore you can't under the rules of this house, you cannot, it is forbidden,
essentially to cut taxes and impossible to cut spending so even if mr. flake's amendment were passed, the money he's reducing, the $100,000, would churn back into the appropriations bill to be spent elsewhere. i know that aggravate mrs. flake as much as it does me. we have to reform the budget process. we have to be able, as fiscal conservatives, to get up on this floor and offer cutting amendments that cut spending. but the game is rigged against the taxpayers. taxpayers are losers in the way the rules of the house operate. mr. posey has a worthwhile project here in his own district. that is a -- something he believes in his heart works. and i join in opposing this amendment but would ask members to help us reform the budget process so we can cut spending and taxes. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired, the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman from texas for his comments. i think if we could bottle up all the shared zeal to cut
spending then maybe we could pass one of these amendments to cut spending. the gentleman points out that we're not cutting it. and that year after year when those of white house want to come down here and strike funding for earmarks want to do it, we receive objection from those on the appropriations committee to say, well, you're not really saving anything because it will go right back into there. but you can go and you can lower the 301 b's and a's and do it the way you want to but maybe the reason the appropriations committee on both sides of the aisle, unfortunately, and it pains me to say this as a republican, but part of the reason you don't see the appropriations committee very anxious to cut spending is because of this. when you look at 70% of the dollar value of the earmarks being associated with members who make up less than 24% of the
body, if you take the appropriations committee, it's less than 14% of the body and more than half of the dollar value of earmarks goes to just 14% of the body. so i have to take with a rather large grain of assault the lamenting year after year -- salt the lamenting year after year after year that we can't cut this earmark spending because that darn money will just go right back into the system. we can change any time we want and i should say also, this amendment makes -- made in order here will cut the funding and reduce it in the bill by the same amount and so to hear the excuse that we simply can't do that, and also, this is something called activity based activity and the sponsor says that the purpose of the earmark is so that we can have more transparency in our funding structures at the state and local level.
i find it ironic that we're using the least accountable system for distributing funds in order to increase transparency somewhere else. at some point we're all going to scratch our head and say, you know, wouldn't it be better when we're running what could be a $2 trillion deficit this year to actually save the money and not spend it and concede to the taxpayer we can't continue to go on this way? but simply to say we can't cut these earmarks because that money will go somewhere else really is a bit -- it's just -- >> would the gentleman yield? mr. flake: for 15 seconds. i think i've heard this before. mr. culberson: we tried in committee, jeff, mr. lewis, the ranking member, offered an amendment in full committee to cut the overall spending levels in the appropriation committee and we were defeated by the liberal majority. so we've made the effort. we're trying and we're doing it every opportunity. the frustration is, your amendment won't save any money.
and i join you in wanting to cut -- mr. flake: reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time, we were in control for six years while i've been in this congress and we didn't make any effort to do that. that's the unfortunate thing. and we haven't done any better under the current leadership, but unfortunately we didn't set a very good example when we were in charge because we could have at any time ensured that the money went back to the taxpayer. but we didn't. with that i urge adoption of the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. flake: on that i'd ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 13 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will
designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 13 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i have an unanimous consent -- or i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified in the form i have at the desk. the chair: is there objection? mr. serrano: i object. the chair: objection being heard, the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: is the gentleman sure you dent -- he doesn't want to just reserve the right to object before he hears the amendment that i have? the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: all right. on this amendment, i would submit the modification would be to allow the school choice initiative to continue in d.c. again, bipartisan amendment offered to the rules committee, rejected by the rules committee, because the democratic leadership decided that this house should not debate the topic, nor vote on it. we have the time, it's not an issue of time. i'm willing to forego one of my
amendments to allow this one to be offered. but again, the house leadership has decided they don't want to debate nor vote on this amendment and so we're not allowed to. we're breaking tradition that was held for decades and decades and decades in this house in order to simply shield members or shield parties or whatever from votes that might be taken in the body. and that's unfortunate. this amendment would prohibit $90,000 in funding for the commercial kitchen business incubater in watsonville, california, and would lower the overall cost of the bill by a commensurate amount. according to the sponsor, the funding would be used for a small business incubator for food service microenterprise. specifically it would be used to purchase industrial kitchen equipment. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to this amendment and let had me explain as others have explained -- let me explain as others have plained the situation. the valley -- explained the situation. it is the epicenter for an earthquake in 1989. it was the largest plant closure for food processing plants and it now has an unemployment rate of over 25%. we've been struckling for the last -- struggling for the last many years to try to get involved in how do you create businesses, create new businesses, create businesses that people who have no capital, have no ability to go out and borrow money, can start? and a lot of that is cottage industry. one of the cottage industries is the catering businesses, areas where you learn to be chefs in restaurants, learn particularly
with all of our specialty crops and organic crops, how do you take those crops and move them to the next stage? it's also a struggle because in order to do that and to get into the commercial world, you've got to have a commercially licensed kitchen. and so we've been struggling, local communities very involved in this, local businessmen sit on the board of directors of the community development corporation. this is a corporation set up under federal law under the small business development corporations. you have bankers sitting on this, you have business people sitting on it. you have lawyers sitting on it. what they do is they work with people in giving them the skills they need to go into business for themselves and part of that is to build a place where you can come and learn all of this food processing and food cooking. you need the kitchen to be industrialized, certified. you just can't run a business out of the back of your home. it's just not legal in a residential area to start a commercial enterprise like that.
it's got strong backing from the business community. this is a one-time expenditure, it will never be done again and i really -- i really have to say that i object going after the poorest of poor who want to get on their feet who want to get out of welfare and have that american dream and this is one area, one niche that everybody's identified as a niche that needs to be filled. so i think this amendment is -- would kill the american dream and i suggest that you oppose it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. i respect the gentleman from california. he and i have worked together on a lot of legislation. in this case, i would simply say there are a lot of areas in the country that are hurting. in california, el centro has an unemployment rate of 27%. yuma has an unemployment rate of 20%. there are a lot of people hurting, a lot of places. but when i hear the gentleman
say this is going to be a one-time expenditure, we've heard that before. we've heard that many, many times before. i'm sure some of the earmarks that we talked about earlier, the first year the member got the earmark he would have said, this is going to be a one-time expenditure. and yet year after year after year after year we're funding the same earmark. these business incubators are particularly prone to repetitive earmarks over the years. we seem to keep funding them again and again. again, let me say that there are a lot of business incubator services provided by chambers of commerce, trade associations, private sector organizations, just wishing to supply services and to make a dollar. and yet now they're going to be asked to compete with a government entity that's receiving federal largess. and it simply doesn't work very well. we know we don't have sufficient money to spread around to everybody that wants it. mr. farr: will the gentleman yield? mr. flake: we're running a deficit that could reach $2
trillion. so we have to prioritize here. and i would suggest it's time to say that we can no longer fund these business incubators that have kind of a nebulous mission that is provided by a lot of private sector organizations. mr. farr: will the gentleman yield? mr. flake: i reserve the balance of my time. i believe the gentleman still has time remaining. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves his time. the gentleman from california. mr. farr: there is absolutely no competition with the private sector. they've endorsed this. they're the members of the board of directors. they're trying to assist this community to get on their feet. why i take umbridge with this, there are 201 earmarks in this piece of legislation. the author of this amendment has chosen 11 to go after. and if they are, they're about attacking poor people. the poorest of poor. that's what incubator centerers are about. to get people on their feet. people who can't get loans, can't get access to the capital that the normal business community can could and who's helping them? the business people. and if you're going to begin the entrepreneurial spirit in
america, then you've got to get people into the entrepreneurial capabilities. that's legal, that's fiscal and that's what this does. so i object to the fact that you've gone through this bill and only picked out 11 of 201 earmarks. less than 10% of this bill. i mean, if you want to attack earmarks, attack an f-22. attack something that's big that really saves some money instead of something that just attacks poor people. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. i hope i have the opportunity, because i will offer an amendment to the defense appropriation bill to stop funding the f-22. the gentleman has a good point. but we should also make the point that we cannot continue to pick and choose winners and losers here. what we're doing is borrowing money from our kids and our grandkids all around the country, we're borrowing money from small businesses and others because we simply don't have the money here, we're running a deficit. and so what we're doing is
selling bonds to finance a deficit that's going to have to be paid back at some time. so we're saying, mr. small businessman or mrs. small businesswoman, we're going it take money from you now because we think we know how to spend it better on that business over there. or on that incubator over there. and i would submit that that's simply not the most efficient use of resources. the market would tell us that that's the most inefficient way to allocate money. government doesn't do a particularly good job of allocating money and allocating money to startup businesses or anything else. and so we've got to say stop somewhere. i'll be glad to support some of the programs that the gentleman has, some of the amendments to cut big items of spending from our entitlement programs and elsewhere. but we've got to do that and we've got to do this. we can't let any program go and simply say we're not going to cut spending when we have a
deficit of nearly $2 trillion. and with that, mr. chairman, i would urge support of the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. farr: mr. chairman, this amendment doesn't save the federal taxpayer one penny. it just takes it out of the earmark and puts it into the general fund. this earmark is to help the poorest of poor get on their feet. i recommend a strong no vote on this amendment. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: on that i ask for a record vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. now in order to consider amendment number 14 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment.
the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in house report 111-208 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 644, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified in the form that i have at the desk. the chair: is there objection? certificate err i object. the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: i thought the seventh time might be the charm but apparently not. apparently majority party is insistent that it only hears the amendments that it wants to have debated, that it wants to vote on, rather than the amendments that the members here decide that they want to debate. and vote on. it's unfortunate, i would have substituted the amendment that would have prohibited union activity on government time. seems to me a simple concept. not controversial. but it's apparently one that the leadership did not want to debate nor to vote on. it's not an issue of time. time constraints are already here.
the only issue is the majority leadership decided they don't want to debate or have a vote on this issue. this amendment would prevent $125,000 from going to the economic -- it goes to the defense procurement assistance program, which has support for all phases of of the acquisition process. i reserve the balance of my tame. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. serrano: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: this serves two counties, with a combined work force of 257,000. the economic growth connection
is dedicated to growing small business and making local businesses more competitive this project advances these goals by, one, offering assistance to small businesses on how to work with the d.o.d., including assistance with federal acquisition regulations, two, acting as a liaison between prime contractors and local suppliers to identify opportunities for subcontracting, conducting seminars to enhance the skill sets of the work forest in the supply chain, including workshops on military certification and quality assurance. developing a manufacturing database to identify local companies, this database lists over 800 companies employing an estimated 400,000 people. clients have been awarded an average of $40 million each year in procurement contracts. this is a worthy project and i
think it should be retained. the chair: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: to be honest, i'm not sure how much more help southwestern pennsylvania needs in the way of defense procurement assistance. i'm not sure how much more the taxpayers can afford. according to usaspending.gov, the area has benefited from nearly $1.4 billion in federal contracts from 2004 to 2009, hardly the poor thoves poor. the army, navy, air force and defense logistic agency make up four of the top 10 contracting agencies and more than 60% of the funds were not subject to full and open competition. similarly, usaspending.gov says the area has benefited from more than a billion federal contracts with less than half
available for everyone to compete for. among the contractors receiving funds are many that we've come to know very well, all too well, kotura, argon st. kotura is a defense contractor for whom the sponsor of this bill requested funding for two years, was raided by the f.b.i., suspended by the navy, reported for alleged fraud, including multiple instances of incorrect charges along with defective pricing and ethical violation. argon st which has been in the news lately, it's been said the former head of coherent system pled guilty in federal court last tuesday to a kickback scheme and defrauding the u.s. air force.
k.d.h. defense also made headlines when it was reported they received millions of taxpayer dollars to build a sonar system it had no experience to design. it's long been the focus of defense earmark critics. "the washington post" highlighted that the national defense center for environmental excellence, mggeded by concurrent, received $6 humbings million in funding and little of the work had been useful to the department of defense. how long can we continue to provide defense related procurement dollars for an area with so many organizations that have been associated with conduct that i think people in this body would say, they're certainly not deserving of more earmarks, yet we're doing it here again. how much longer will we do this, mr. chairman? with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i yield back.
the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: may i ask as to the time remaining. the chair: the gentleman from arizona has a minute and a half remaining. mr. flake: it shouldn't surprise anybody that several of these companies in this area were clients of the p.m.a. group a now detunth lobbying firm that specialized in on stain -- obtaining defense contracts were clients. since they have been closed, questions related to campaign contributions made on or behalf of the firm, including questions realitying to -- relating to straw man contributions, pressure on clients to give, suspicious pattern of giving and suspicious activity. here we are yet again with another defense-related earmark for an area that received billions in defense spending that has previously been associated with contractors that have run into trouble and a lobbying group that cast a
long shadow over this house. i urge my colleagues, if we're going to step up at any time and say, enough is enough, let's step up here. for an earmark for $150,000, or $125,000 to help in defense procurement for an area that receives billions and billions of dollars in defense procurement. then is enough enough, mr. chairman? i ask for support of the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 15 printed in house report 111-208. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment
at the desk, designated as number 15. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 15, prinned in house report 111-208, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. mr. flake: ski unanimous consent that the amendment be modified to the form i have at the desk. mr. serrano: i object. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. flake: this is the eighth time, i think, that the majority has objected. this amendment was one that would have protected broadcaster freedom to make sure that talk radio stations around the country and other media organizations would not be subjected to new regulations which would try to control their content. this amendment passed last year by a margin, i think, 309 votes in fare. yet it's one the -- in favor.
yet it's one the majority party did in the want to hear debated or see a vote on. despite the fact that it has bipartisan support, again, mr. chairman, we can't continue to go down this road of having martial law on appropriation bills. and simply saying that we're going to decide as a majority party, the majority leadership which amendments can be offered which ones can be debated. this particular amendment would prohibit $100,000 from being used to expand the myrtle beach international trade and conference cent for the myrtle beach, south carolina. it would reduce the overall cost of the bill by a commensurate. a. the myrtle beach convention center hosted over 500 groups in 2008, has an economic impact of more than $55 million per year. it was the host site of the south carolina g.o.p. presidential candidates debate and draws a large number of sisk and public events.
why are we spending another $100,000 when we have nearly a $ trillion deficit for a convention center? convention and conference center? there are convention and conference centers all over the country. there are many in my home state of arizona. why we should choose one and say they're worthy of an earmark and the other one isn't and saying they shouldn't compete for dollars, we're just going to hand them out. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. for what purpo se does the gentleman from rise? mrs. emerson: the small business administration was given an opportunity to vet this project and provided the committee with no negative feedback regarding the project or the grantee. therefore, i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and i yield to mr. brown of south
carolina. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brown: i appreciate the gentlelady yielding. i rise to speak against the amendment offered by my friend from arizona. i am proud to represent coastal south carolina. i know the economy of myrtle beach is suffering and jobs are being lost every day. tourism industry is the number one industry in the myrtle beach region and the life blood of the surrounding area. the myrtle beach trade and conference center is an important part of that industry, with local economic impact of $55 million every year. every -- however it's limited nits capacity, limiting its ability to attract conventions. they have embarked on a multiyear effort to expand the center, funded by public and private dollars. not only will it result in more tourism for myrtle beach, but it serves as the emergency
command center for the city of myrtle beach in the event of hurricane or other disasters. that's why this project has received past support from the department of homeland security. it's one of the hardest-hit counties in south carolina in this recession, i'm proud to do everything i can to improve the quality of life for my constituents. mr. speaker, mr. chairman, i ask for unanimous consent to be able to submit for the record a letter from myrtle beach mayor john rhodes and a letter from the myrtle beach chamber of commerce detailing why this money is needed and how it will be spent. the chair: the gentleman's request is granted under general leave. mr. brown: with that, i yield three minutes to mr. culberson from texas. the chair: the gentlewoman from missouri controls the time. mr. culberson: the deficit for this week for the first time in history exceeded $1 trillion.
the national debt is over $12 trillion. the liberal majority that control this is house, passing the energy tax, just before the fourth of july break, the biggest tax increase in the history of america, the liberal majority that controls this house passing this spend louse bill in a sing -- spent ulous bill in a sing -- spendulous bill. we are on the brink, this liberal majority has taken over the automobile industry, the insurance industry, the banking industry, they're on the brink of taking over the health care industry and there's a report that the health care bill will make it illegal to buy private health care insurance. this is the most massive expansion of government in the history of the united states, the congress is about to raise taxes more than any congress in history. we are on an unsustainable path for the future of this nation. it's vitally important for us to control spending. no new taxes, no new spend, no
new debt. that's simple. yet the game, the rules of the house are rig ared against the taxpayers. even if every one of mr. flake's amendments were adopted, even if every amendment offered on the floor to cut these earmarks were adopted, taxpayers won't save a dime. imagine sitting down to a game of chess and even if you think you've got checkmate, you don't because the rules are rigged against you. the rules of this house are set up in such a way by the liberal majority that the -- on a spending bill, it's impossible to cut spending. you've got to cut another bill, the budget bill and reduce what's called the 302a overall spending level which can't be done on this bill, on a tax bill. you can't cut taxes. it's forbidden to cut taxes under the rules the way this bunch runs the house. the game is rigged against the taxpayers. that's my greatestst